Simple Pasta With Pesto

A few years ago, when a friend of mine mentioned she made the best pesto ever, I had to get her recipe. It’s simple, delicious and you can add or subtract whatever you want – there’s lots of flexibility with this.


It’s basically just 5 ingredients – fresh basil, good olive oil, cheese, walnuts, (I like to toast them quickly for a really good flavor) and garlic.





While the pasta is cooking, you can put together a side dish of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar and serve on a bed of greens.


It’s quick and easy to make….



and so delicious!


Here’s the recipe.

2 Cups of Fresh Basil
1 Cup of walnuts (you can use pine nuts, if you prefer)
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Cup of olive oil
1 overflowing cup of parmesan cheese

I toast the walnuts quickly, either in the frying pan or in the oven.

Put the basil, cheese, walnuts and garlic into the food processor. Add a bit of the oil and turn the
machine on, adding the rest of the oil thru the top.

Give it a taste to see if it needs salt. Add pepper to taste.

And now you have delicious pesto to use anyway you’d like. For pasta, I usually heat a little cream and a pat of butter in a saucepan, add a decent amount of pesto and stir until it’s warm and then add the cooked pasta. You can taste it at this point and determine if you need a bit more of the pesto. I like to add red pepper flakes for a little kick and you can even add some leftover chicken.

You can forego the cream and butter if you want a heartier flavor – I like it either way.

And, you’re done! Simple, delicious and on the table in under half an hour. My kind of meal. What I also like about this is that it freezes so well. You can take it out two weeks later and enjoy it on Italian bread with tomatoes and mozzarella, another one of my favorites. Or try cutting the recipe in half if you just need a small amount.

Enjoy! And as always, thanks so much for stopping by.



  1. says

    I’ve always used pine nuts, but it’s hard to find any that aren’t from China anymore … so thank you for this variation with walnuts. I look forward to trying it.

  2. says

    Ooh that looks yummy – I’m another one who’s always used pine nuts for pesto but walnuts sound like they’d give a nuttier flavour :)

  3. says

    mmm this looks so delicious……..I gotta try it! I like how you used toasted walnuts in the pesto, I am pinning, thanks so much for the recipe :) Have a lovely day~hugs, Poppy

  4. says

    Yum! This last weekend I foraged a bunch of ramps and plan to do this exact recipe you have but with the ramps (+ lemon). Have you ever tried slipping the pesto under the skin of chicken? Whoops! I don’t know if you eat meat but if your do, then I hope you’ll give it a try. I love these simple recipes!

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