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Pesto Pasta Recipe

Homemade pasta with pesto it’s full of flavor! It’s made with hearty spaghetti and a generous topping of fresh, herbaceous basil pesto. It is then finished with spicy aged Parmesan and rich pine nuts for a toasty crunch.

A spicy pesto pasta recipe!

This pasta dish is proof that it doesn’t take long to create spectacular flavor and create a dish worthy of company.

This is one of my favorite ways to make pasta. It tastes so bright, tastes amazingly fresh, and pesto is a nutritious choice for sauce.

And if you’re lucky enough to have some leftovers the next day, it’s a great lunch that doesn’t even need to be reheated. Just blend with a drizzle of oil and it’s like a pesto pasta salad.

Pesto pasta is also very versatile. This is just the basic recipe, so from there there are lots of different ways to transform it (see list of ideas below).

I think this easily deserves a spot on the weekly lunch or dinner menu. Especially if you have access to a lot of fresh basil during the summer, this is the best way to consume it!

Ingredients for the pesto pasta recipe

  • 12 ounces dry spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 3 cups (lightly wrapped, 65g) fresh basil sheets
  • 1/2 cup grated (35g) Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup (36g) pinions (roasted or raw)
  • 2 medium Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pasta waterdivided

necessary equipment

  • For this recipe you will need a food processor.
  • I use this 7 cup food processor.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can try chopping by hand like this method here.

How to make pasta with pesto

  • cook the spaghetti in salted water al dente according to package directions. Before draining, be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of water for the pasta.
  • Prepare the pesto: In a 7-cup food processor, add the basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic. Cover with lid and blend in short bursts until finely chopped.
  • Scrape out the food processor. Cover, then, with the food processor running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube in the lid. Don’t over process, just blend.
  • Season with salt to taste.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water: Drain the pasta once al dente, then pour it into a large bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the pasta and mix. Let cool for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Season the pasta and pesto: Add all the pesto and let it season. Dilute with up to 1/4 cup more pasta water to taste, and garnish with more Parmesan cheese and pine nuts if desired.

Possible variations of the recipe.

Other great ways to do this include:

  • add to grill chicken or roast chicken, either Cooked shrimp for proteins.
  • include some grilled vegetables (pour directly into the dough).
  • Add fresh or roasted cherry tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (half reduced).
  • throw in fresh mozzarella pearls.
  • Substitute other nuts like walnuts either sliced ​​almonds.
  • try it with various pasta. Like different cuts (penne, farfelle, rotini, campanelle, barley, etc.), fresh pasta (you’ll need a heavier weight), or pasta with a different grain base like whole wheat pasta, rice, lentils, or chickpeas.
  • Or replace tortellini, ravioli or gnocchi.

Helpful tips

  • Use the best quality ingredients.. A good, very fresh basil is the key, choose a real Parmesan and don’t use cheap olive oil.
  • Don’t go overboard with the pesto. Finely chop the basil. You don’t want a pasta.
  • Season the boiling water with the salt. to flavor (just when it reaches the boiling point). Otherwise, the pasta may taste bland.
  • The use of pasta water in the dish is essential. It helps thin the sauce and also acts as a good binder with its starch.
  • So don’t forget to save the pasta water. One thing I got in the habit of reminding myself to do this was to put a liquid measuring cup in the strainer in the sink when I started the recipe. So I would remove the measuring cup before draining the pasta and as I did so I would remember that I needed some water to store the pasta.

Other Nice Pesto Recipes to Try

pasta with pesto

It’s made with hearty spaghetti and a generous topping of fresh, herbaceous basil pesto. It is then finished with spicy, seasoned Parmesan and rich pine nuts for a toasty crunch.

Servings: 6

  • 12 ounces dry spaghetti
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups (lightly wrapped, 65g) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Parmesan cheese (35g), plus more for serving if desired
  • 1/4 cup (36 g) pine nuts (toasted or raw), plus more for serving if desired
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pasta water, divided
  • Cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente according to package directions. Before draining, be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of water for the pasta.

  • In a 7-cup food processor, add the basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic. Cover with lid and blend in short bursts until finely chopped.
  • Scrape out the food processor. Cover, then, with the food processor running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube in the lid. Don’t over process, just blend.

  • Season with salt to taste.

  • Drain the pasta once al dente, then pour it into a large bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the pasta and mix. Let cool for 1 – 2 minutes.

  • Add all the pesto and cook. Dilute with up to 1/4 cup more pasta water to taste, and garnish with more Parmesan cheese and pine nuts if desired.

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