Pesto pasta
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Spaghetti Pasta with green pesto recipe

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Tossing green pesto on pasta is a dish a cut above the rest, full of flavour and easy to make.

Rooted in Italian tradition, pasta twirls best with thin, oily sauces. I have tried green pesto sauce with a lot of other dishes, but nothing comes close to combining it with pasta.

This dish is perfect all year around; it can be served in the summer, with the pesto offering a refreshing taste in the summer heat, and it can be served in winter, the combination of tastes and textures making this a wonderful comfort food for cold evenings. Pesto is packed with antioxidants, making it a brilliant option for people wanting to detox – your body will thank you for the mixture of garlic and basil in this dish. Pesto also helps regulate blood pressure, so this is a comfort food that you don’t need to feel guilty about indulging in.


250grams of Spaghetti pasta, cherry tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 2 bunches of fresh basil leaves, 125g Pine nuts, 2 to 3 Garlic cloves 150mls of extra virgin olive oil 125grams Romano or Parmisan-Pegiano cheese, salt, ground pepper flakes and fresh lemon juice (optional).

Pasta and green pesto ingredient substitutes

Pesto: Baby spinach can be subbed for fresh basil (PS: Basil brings out the traditional aroma of green pesto, use baby spinach only if you can’t find fresh basil). Walnuts can also replace Pine nuts. To make vegan pesto, substitute Romano or Parmisan-Pegiano Cheese for vegan cheese (dairy free).

Pasta: You can use any type of pasta, but my favourite is spaghetti or tagliatelle pasta. I believe the two are the perfect combo with pesto because of the texture and how they curl around the fork.

How much pesto can you add to Pasta?

The amount of pesto to add depends on your preference. There is no defined measurement, but an ideal combo will be about ¾ cup of pesto to 1 pound of pasta or 2 tablespoons to 200grams of cooked pasta. For me, I just like seeing a hearty and pretty plate garnished with cherry tomatoes and grated cheese.

Pesto and pasta

How to make green pesto

  1. Drop your garlic cloves in the processor and add 125g pine nuts, blend for about 15 seconds.
  2. Add fresh basil and a pinch of salt and grounded pepper, blend for 15 seconds again.
  3. Add grated Romano or Parmisan-Pegiano Cheese and blend for 30 seconds.
  4. Toss extra virgin olive oil and blend for another 30 seconds. You can pulse in-between to get desired texture but try not to over blend it. A perfectly blended pesto sauce should be quite chunky and not overly smooth. Scrape down the food processor with a rubber spatula.

See full recipe for homemade green pesto here

How to cook Spaghetti pasta

  1. Pour 500mls of water in a saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. Add Spaghetti pasta and slightly salt it.
  3. Let it simmer uncovered for about 9-11mins. 200g of spaghetti serves two people; this produces about 450g after cooking.
  4. While the pasta is cooking stir occasionally; a shorter cooking time will create a firmer authentic Italian texture. Add more water anytime if required but drain water out before tossing the pesto sauce in.

Spaghetti Pasta with green pesto

Recipe by Oluwaseyi O’shea
5.0 from 5 votes
Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Chop the cherry t


  • 2 bunches of Fresh basil leaves

  • 125 gram Pine nuts

  • 200 grams Spaghetti pasta

  • 2-3 Gralic cloves

  • 200 mls Extra virgin olive oil

  • 125 grams Romano or Parmisan-Pegiano Cheese

  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon Grounded pepper flakes

  • Pinch of salt

  • Half a pack Cherry tomatoes


  • Add 4-5 tablespoons of green pesto into 450grams of cooked spaghetti pasta.
  • Add chopped cherry tomatoes and about 50mls of hot water. Stir together with a spoon and taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper.
  • Serve with grated Romano or Parmisan-Pegiano cheese on top.


  • This dish does not have much protein, so you can serve with roasted chicken or tofu.
  • PS: Nutrition information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator and based on ingredients used.

Other Pasta Recipes

Utensils and tools in this recipe

Food processor, saucepan and rubber spatula. (You can buy any of the items on Amazon by clicking the link. This opens a new tab on your browser so you will still remain on this page).

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