Pesto Pasta Recipe

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Pesto pasta is a quick and easy dish perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. The combination of pasta, fresh basil, garlic, and pine nuts creates a delicious and satisfying meal that will delight you. This vegetarian-friendly recipe can easily be made vegan by omitting parmesan cheese.

Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa, Italy, typically made with fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The sauce is traditionally pounded with a mortar and pestle, which gives it a slightly coarse texture. Pesto can be used in various dishes, but one popular way to enjoy it is with pasta. Pesto pasta is a simple yet flavorful dish that can be enjoyed independently. The plate is made by tossing cooked pasta with pesto sauce and adding a few additional ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes or grilled chicken, to enhance the flavor.

Pesto Pasta in a bowl with family portions
Pesto Pasta in a bowl with family portions

Pesto Pasta Recipe

Looking for a quick and delicious meal? Try making pesto pasta, a classic Italian dish that combines pasta with a flavorful basil sauce.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta, pesto


  • 1 lb pasta
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a quick boil. According to the packet directions, add and cook the pasta until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto. Combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped.
  • With the food processor on, slowly pour the olive oil until the pesto is smooth. Now, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add the pesto and toss until the pasta is evenly coated.
  • Serve hot, garnished with extra parmesan cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.
Pesto pasta in green detail with modern cloth and table


This recipe can be custom tailored by adding your favorite ingredients or toppings. Here are some ideas:

  • Add some protein: Grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu can be added to the pasta for a more filling meal.
  • Try different nuts: Substitute pine nuts with walnuts, almonds, or cashews for a different flavor.
  • Use other herbs: Basil can be substituted with parsley, cilantro, or even arugula for a different taste.
  • Get creative with toppings: Cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or olives can all be added to the pasta for some extra flavor.


Pesto pasta is a classic dish that is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s easy to make, delicious and can be customized to your liking. Whether you’re cooking for one or feeding your friends, this recipe will surely be a favorite.

cooked food on black ceramic plates

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