Pesto Pasta Recipe

This Pesto Pasta Recipe is one of my favorite pasta recipes because it comes together quickly and easily! If you’ve never made homemade pesto sauce before you are in for a treat! 

Bowl of Pesto Pasta with Parmesean CHeese

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This video also includes my recipes for easy Fresh Tomato Sauce and Fettuccine Alfredo, two other pasta sauces worth the effort to make from scratch! You might also enjoy my easy Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Baby Broccoli for a quick and easy weeknight meal. 

Step#1: Place Ingredients in Food Processor

You’ll place fresh basil, garlic, pinenuts, and salt and pepper in a food processor. At this stage be sure to process the mixture until a fine mince is created in the food processor. 

Adding salt to a food processor filled with basil leaves

Before adding the oil to your pesto scrape down the bowl so that all the basil is settled at the bottom. 

Scraping down pesto with a spatula in a food processor

Then add the olive oil in a slow steady stream while the machine is running. This will create an emulsified sauce.

adding olive oil to a food processor filled with basil

Step#2: Add the Parmesan Cheese

It’s best to transfer the pesto sauce to a large bowl and stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Grating Parmesan cheese into a bowl of pesto

How do you make creamy pesto sauce?

Step#3: Toss the Pasta with the Pesto Sauce

  • Add the pesto sauce to the pot of drained pasta and stir to coat the pasta completely with the pesto.
  • I really love to pair fusilli pasta with pesto because it rests inside the nooks and crannies of the pasta and provides a lot of pesto flavor in every bite. 

Adding Pesto to a pot of cooked pasta

I find it’s easier to toss the pasta in the pot you cooked it in, once you’ve drained it of its water, that way you can make sure it’s really well coated. 

Pesto tossed with pasta

Serve your pesto pasta in some shallow serving bowls, and top with grated cheese. 

Adding basil to a bowl of pasta

Then garnish with a fresh sprig of basil on top. 

Bowl of Pesto Pasta with Parmesan Cheese

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3 Homemade Pasta Sauces

Pasta Pesto Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Pesto is a classic pasta sauce. You can easily make it with the basil you have in your garden and enjoy a classic Italian meal.


  • ½ pound of fusilli pasta

For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups (475 ml) of fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) pine nuts
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) freshly cracked pepper
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of olive oil
  • ¼ cup (22 g) Parmesan cheese


  1. Boil water and cook pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse together the basil, garlic and pine nuts into a fine mince. While the machine is running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until combined. Turn off the machine, and remove the blade. Stir in the cheese.
  3. Drain the pasta and place it back into the pot without the water in it. The heat from the pot will keep the pasta warm. Toss the warm pasta with the pesto, and serve!
  4. This is also great as a cold salad too!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Brownie cake scooped into a mug with ice cream

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  1. Hi Beth! I’m about to make this pesto as part of a gift to some close friends. About how long do you think the pesto is good for in the fridge? Thank you so much in advance and for also always sharing the best recipes!!!