“Pesto Pasta” , now try repeating that ten times and each time a bit faster. Haha, I love how it sounds like a tongue twister! You must’ve seen my story about the basil pesto sauce I had made earlier and the ingredients that go into making this oil and herb condiment. This sauce is so versatile and can be used to elevate the flavor of many dishes like pasta, soups, sandwiches and sauces. I have penned down the recipe for the pesto sauce on my blog and also how I have used it to make this fresh basil pesto spaghetti. The pesto pasta has a lovely aroma and freshness to it as it isn’t loaded with cheese like a few other pasta variants. You can have it with some garlic bread, salad, fresh cherry tomatoes or take it as it is!
For the pesto sauce :
- Fresh Basil leaves – 2 cups
- Pine nuts – ⅓ cup (or use walnuts, chopped almonds or cashew nuts as substitutes)
- Parmesan cheese (grated) – ⅓ cup
- Extra virgin Olive oil – ½ cup
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- Ground black pepper – ¼ teaspoon
- Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
- Spaghetti – 400g
- Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
- Red pepper flakes – 2 teaspoons
- Parmesan cheese & basil leaves for garnish
- In a blender, add in all the ingredients listed under “pesto sauce” and blend without adding water until lightly smooth. I like my pesto a little chunky and coarse without grinding the pine nuts completely. You can alter according to your liking. Transfer to an airtight container.
- Boil the spaghetti in enough water with a little salt and a drizzle of olive oil, until al dente. Drain the water but reserve ¼ cup of the starchy pasta water for sauteing.
- In a wide saucepan or frying pan, lightly heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss in the spaghetti, add ¼ cup of the starchy pasta water and 3 tablespoons of the basil pesto sauce. Toss until combined. Adding the starchy water helps the sauce stick better to the long strands of pasta and coats the pasta completely. It’s a little trick!
- Season with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (’cos you can never have enough cheese in italian cuisine :D), a drizzle of olive oil & some fresh basil leaves!