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Simple Pesto Pasta

Spaghetti. Spaghetti with homemade pesto sauce olive oil and basil leaves

Simple Pesto Pasta

  • 15m
  • 15m
  • Italian, Mediterranean

  • 4


  • water
  • 16 oz spaghetti noodles, or pasta of choice
  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 lemon, optional
  • 1/2 c pine nuts
  • 1/4 c shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Cook spaghetti according to instructions on package.
  2. Drain pasta, reserving at least 1/2 cup of pasta water per four servings. Return pasta to pan and cover to keep warm.
  3. While pasta cooks, prepare pesto. Remove basil leaves from stems. Peel garlic and coarsely chop. Zest lemon.
  4. Place basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, salt, and lemon zest into food processor. Process on high for 20 seconds. With processor running, slowly pour in olive oil. Once oil is fully incorporated, stop food processor. Taste pesto and adjust seasoning.
  5. Pour pesto into warm pasta. Using tongs, turn pasta in sauce until it is fully coated. If sauce needs to be thinned, add reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time, until pasta is fully coated with sauce.
  6. Serve hot with shredded parmesan cheese, for passing around.


  • 4
  • Stovetop
  • 699
  • 20g
  • 88g
  • 5g
  • 30g
  • 5g
  • 4mg
  • 4g
  • 348mg

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