Herbaceous fresh basil pesto tossed with al dente spaghetti and then twisted into a little nest in the center of a large white plate. Garnished with heaps of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Homemade Takeout, Pastas, Vegetarian

Fresh Basil Pesto Pasta

This fresh and summery pasta is one of my all-time favorite meals, so much so I named my dog Pesto!

A closeup of a nest of pesto pasta, topped with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and freshly ground black pepper.
Pesto Pasta is so good, she deserves a close-up.
A nest of basil pesto pasta..
A simple dish that owns my heart. If I could choose my last meal, Pesto Pasta would certainly be in my line up!

Fresh Basil Pesto Pasta

Sacha Hirschfeld
This fresh and summery pasta is one of my all-time favorite meals, so much so I named my dog Pesto!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Pastas
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Calories 778 kcal


  • 1 food processor
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 pair of tongs
  • 1 silicone spatula


  • 2 cups fresh basil packed
  • cup toasted pine nuts sometimes I sub walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano sometimes I sub Pecorino Romano
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¾ lb pasta


  • Place pine nuts and basil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 15 seconds. Add the parmigiano reggiano and garlic and pulse for another 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  • With the food processor running, slowly pour in the extra-virgin olive oil. It's important to add the olive oil slowly, because it will help emulsify and stop the oil from separating. I usually pause a couple of times during this process to scrape the sides with my spatula. Once the Pesto has reached your desired consistency, stir in the salt and pepper. Taste once again; adjust seasoning, if needed.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add 2-3 tbsp of salt; return water to a roaring boil before adding the pasta. Cook as per package instructions until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
  • Over low heat, toss pasta and pesto sauce together, using pasta water a tablespoon at a time to thin out the sauce.
  • Transfer to a pasta bowl or plate. Garnish with finely grate parmigiano reggiano and basil leaves.


Pesto freezes nicely (if you skip the cheese), and will stay fresh for 2 months. Simply follow the recipe as directed, but omit the cheese. Cover the pesto with a layer of olive oil and then pop it in the freezer. Once the pesto is defrosted, whisk in the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and you’re golden!
Keyword Fresh Herbs, Summer, Vegetarian

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