When fresh basil is abundant there is nothing better than making this Easy Pesto Pasta for dinner. You will be eating in under 30 minutes! Just boil the pasta and blend the basil pesto, give it all a toss and it is time to eat. You can serve it as a side or main dish.
It is EXCELLENT served with Chicken Spiedini, which are marinated chicken skewers that are breaded and baked.
If you want a double recipe or ONLY want to make the sauce, check out this recipe for Fresh Basil Pesto.
Pesto is a traditional Italian green sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, nuts, and parmesan. It can also be called Pesto alla Genovese.
It is excellent served with pasta or over chicken, seafood or roasted veggies like Fennel.
You only need a few ingredients to make this Basil Pesto Pasta dinner.
Pasta- Use whatever pasta shape you have, or whatever shape your family likes!
Step by Step Picture Instructions
Start by putting the pasta on to boil. Cook per package instructions.
Pro Tip: pop a measuring cup in your colander and you won’t forget to save some of the starchy cooking water.
In a food processor (or blender) add the garlic and walnuts. Pulse about 20 times.
Add the basil, lemon juice, and salt. Turn the processor on.
Slowly stream in the extra virgin olive oil through the feed tube.
Pro Tip: You may need to scrape the sides down so that everything gets blended well.
Toss the warm pasta with the pesto, reserved starchy cooking water, and shredded parmesan.
Time to eat!
- Put a measuring cup in your colander and you won’t forget to save some of the starchy cooking water.
- Use extra virgin olive oil for the extra layer of flavor.
Easy Basil Pesto Pasta
- 10-12 oz. linguine, fettucine or spaghetti cooked per package instructions
- ½ cup starchy pasta cooking water reserved
- ½ cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 fresh garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp walnuts raw or unsalted walnuts work great here
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the pasta per package instructions. Pro Tip: place a measuring cup in your colander and you won't forget to reserve the starchy pasta water.
- While the pasta cooks make the pesto sauce:
- In a food processor fitted with the blade add the walnuts and garlic. Pulse about 20 times.
- Add in the basil, lemon juice, and salt. Turn on the processor and slowly stream in the extra virgin olive oil through the feed tube at the top. Pro Tip: you may need to stop and scrape the side down once in a while.
- Drain the pasta (reserving ½ cup of the water) and place the pasta back in the pot. Pour in the starchy cooking water, pesto, and ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese.
- Using tongs toss everything together.
- Give it a taste for additional salt, cheese or lemon.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.