Basil Pesto Pasta

I am proud to say that this meal is officially a family favorite! Let me start by saying the fresh taste of this basil pesto pasta will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. That’s one of the reasons why I love using fresh and organic ingredients, and if you have a garden, consider yourself truly blessed!

For this recipe, I bought four small basil plants and used about three cups of basil leaves. I always love having some basil on hand in my kitchen. There’s really so much you can do with this plant and it adds a nice aromatic flavor to your meal! Fresh parsley is another one of my favorite plants. I used a few sprigs of this to add to my pesto. These two plants also make for great garnishes to sprinkle on top of your meal after it’s all plated. 

Basil Pesto Pasta

3 from 12 votes
Recipe by Madison Course: Main, SidesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

3

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Pasta:
  • 2 cups pasta, cooked according to package instructions (be sure to salt the pasta water)

  • For the Pesto:
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup  fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup cashews or pine nuts

  • 1/2 cups olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • For the Cherry Tomatoes and Serrano Pepper: 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

  • 1/2 serrano pepper, finely diced (seeded if desired)

Directions

  • To a blender, add basil leaves, parsley, garlic powder, nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until combined. Set aside.
  • Next, to a large non-stick skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the cherry tomatoes and serrano pepper together for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the fresh basil pesto and the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss until everything is nicely coated.
  • Garnish with basil if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • I keep the seeds in my serrano pepper which gives the sauce a bit of spice.

My favorite part of cooking this meal (besides taste testing along the way) had to be peeling off the basil leaves from the plant. It reminded me of those summers I would visit my older friend’s garden and watch her work diligently and peacefully, making sure her plants were well taken care of. How therapeutic that looked! A carefully nourished plant, later calls for a nourishing meal! 

The pesto makes this meal. If you add the right ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Stick to either pine nuts or cashews for the pesto and don’t forget to add in your basic seasonings: garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

When sautéing your tomatoes and chili pepper keep on a low heat so they don’t burn. Then, add in your pesto followed by the pasta. I prefer to add in the sauce before the pasta that way I can guarantee every piece gets coated. Stir everything together gently. 

One fact about me is that I love to travel. Cooking up meals such as pasta dishes makes me dream of going to Italy. Fun fact: that’s where pesto originated! I’ve never been to Europe, but when I plan my trip there, Italy will definitely have to be one of my stops! Who knows, maybe I’ll even want to move there! Especially if the pesto and pastas are as good as I hear they are!

There’s so much you can do with pesto sauce too if you have any of it left over. Use it as a spread on a sandwich or put a dollop of it on top of a baked potato. I can taste that all now! 

This is also a fun dish to cook visually. Just seeing that green sauce once everything is blended together puts a different spin on your dinner. I so often make my own red sauces, but changing things up a bit gives my family and myself more of a variety, and makes for great conversation around the dinner table. 

This basil pesto pasta doesn’t require a lot of different seasonings which makes it super easy to make. If you’re looking for a nice dish to pair with your Easter dinner this would be a perfect addition to your menu. Two cups of pasta serves about three people so if you’re cooking for a large group, you’ll definitely need more than two cups. 

Pair this dish with a slice of bread or a side salad and you’ll be good to go! Your family will be very satisfied, trust me. Enjoy!

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