I love this easy pesto pasta recipe for busy weeknights. Make the homemade pesto in your food processor and store it in the fridge. Then you’re only minutes away from a delicious bowl of pasta. Bacon sprinkles optional (but yummy).
This has to be one of my all time favourite recipes. I love the fact that pesto pasta is quick, easy and really delicious. Best of all, the kids gobble it up!
I make up a big batch of homemade pesto every few weeks and store it in my fridge. Then I’m safe in the knowledge that a quick dinner is only minutes away.
My go to pesto recipe has only 6 ingredients, and takes just minutes to whip up in your food processor.
I’ve tried to cut the cost of the pesto, by using almonds instead of pine nuts, which tend to be more expensive. You could use other nuts too, such as plain cashew nuts or even walnuts.
You could also replace the basil with rocket or parsley, or use a mixture of basil, rocket and parsley. Another frugal option is using kale instead of basil.
What pasta should I use?
Any pasta works well with pesto. Sometimes I use spaghetti, sometimes penne and other times fusilli.
🍴 Serving suggestions
More often than not I just serve the pesto pasta in a bowl with some extra Parmesan. If I have bacon in stock, I’ll grill a few rashers until really crispy and sprinkle the bacon bits on top.
Garlic bread or focaccia alongside the pesto pasta is always welcomed by my hungry kids, and if it’s just hubby and I, I might serve a green salad with it.
You could also serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken and roasted vegetables (like this ratatouille)
Make it creamy!
To make the pesto pasta a bit more creamy and decadent, stir in a couple of heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche. That’s proper comfort food!
Homemade pesto is really easy to make in a food processor. Then it’s just a matter of cooking some pasta, and voila, you have a tasty and quick meal served up.
- For the pesto;
- Garlic cloves
- Whole almonds
- Juice of half a lemon
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pasta of your choice to serve
A food processor or hand held blender is needed to make the pesto sauce. Store the pesto in a sealed jar or container in your fridge, it will keep for a couple of weeks. Alternatively you can freeze the pesto.
- Put all of your pesto ingredients in a food processor and whiz up to a smooth paste like consistency.
- Cook your pasta until al dente and drain.
- Stir the pesto into the pasta and serve!
Use it up
You can do SO MANY THINGS with pesto. Here are a few ideas for you;
- Spread it on chicken or fish fillets, before grilling.
- Spoon some into your favourite macaroni cheese recipe, before baking.
- Dollop small spoonfuls onto homemade pizza (or shop bought pizza for that matter!).
- Make pesto pinwheels
- Spread it onto bruschetta and top with cherry tomatoes and goats cheese, for a tasty appetiser.
- Turn it into a dip by mixing it with mayonnaise. Great for dipping cucumber, carrot and celery sticks in.
- Stir some through your scrambled eggs at breakfast, for a weekend treat!
Here are some more easy pasta recipes to try;
- Chicken, smoked bacon and tomato pasta
- Chorizo and pepper pasta
- Chicken penne arrabbiata
- Creamy spinach and basil penne
- Tomato, bean and garlic spaghetti
- Creamy sausage pasta
You might also like my 50 Easy School Night Dinners round-up which features pasta dishes, meat feasts, meat-free meals, vegan recipes, slow cooker dinners, and Instant Pot wonders!
Easy Pesto Pasta
- 2 Garlic cloves chopped
- 80 g Basil
- 70 g Parmesan
- 70 g Almonds
- ½ Lemon juice of
- 150 ml Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 Streaky bacon rashers
- 350 g Pasta
- Put the garlic, basil, Parmesan, almonds and lemon juice into a food processor bowl and whiz until smooth.
- Slowly add the olive oil down the funnel and pulse into the pesto. Spoon into a bowl and season with salt if needed.
- Grill the bacon until crisp and chop them up into small bits.
- Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and cook your chosen pasta according to instructions.
- Drain the pasta, then spoon through enough pesto to coat the pasta (you'll have some leftover, which you can store in the fridge).
- Spoon into bowls and sprinkle over the crispy bacon bits.
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