This pesto pasta recipe is a delicious quick and easy summer recipe! It can be served as a main dish or side dish, and you can enjoy it warm or cold! Full instructions how to make your own basil pesto are included, or you can make it even easier and use store-bought!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Basil pesto pasta, How to make pesto pasta, pasta al pesto, Pesto pasta, pesto pasta recipe
Cook pasta according to package instructions, be sure to use salted water.
Drain (do not rinse), return to dry pot, cover with a lid and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, make the homemade pesto sauce:
Heat pine nuts in a small sauté pan over medium heat, stir once you notice them starting to brown. Once they start to brown the process happens fast so watch carefully and remove from heat once all nuts are roasted (about 5 minutes), and let them cool.
Reserve 2 TBS roasted pine nuts for serving.
Put olive oil and basil leaves into the container of a Vitamix (or another high-powered blender). Blend for about 60 seconds until the ingredients are combined but not totally smooth. You may need to pause, scrape down the sides, and then continue blending.
Add ¼ cup pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and blend or process until you reach your desired consistency (about 30-60 seconds). You may need to pause, scrape down the sides, and then continue blending.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired, pulse to combine.
Put it together:
Transfer warm pasta to a serving dish.
Add homemade pesto sauce and stir into pasta until evenly distributed.
Sprinkle with remaining toasted pine nuts!
Add tomatoes and fresh basil if desired.
Serve warm or transfer to the refrigerator to chill and serve cold.