Light, flavorful, and aromatic – Basil Pesto Pasta. It is made with my flavourful hand-pounded basil pesto. Oh, I like the traditional way of making this pesto. You don’t get that same flavor, aroma, and texture when you make it in the mixer grinder. This meal is very quick and easy to make and gets ready in just 15-20 minutes. That means you don’t need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing a party meal at home. Yes! This recipe feels like a party on a weekday.
Make it over lunch, brunch, or dinner. Throw in some veggies for some extra nutrition and crunch. You can also try our tomato pesto pasta which I made using homemade sun-dried tomato pesto, and mushroom sauce pasta (vegan).
I haven’t tried basil pesto for a very long time. Jatin was a fan of pesto pasta and used to keep telling me to make this recipe. And he wanted to make the pesto the traditional way – using a mortar pestle. I always thought that it is too much work and I was not very sure about the taste. So I procrastinated. I delayed so much that one day Jatin made it. I will not lie but the aroma of the pesto in the kitchen was to die for. It was making me high on fragrance 😀
After tasting I gave my verdict – It is Delicious! Since pine nuts were not very easily available and were quite expensive too, one day I thought to make it using cashews – that’s my favorite nut of all. I made it vegan using cashews and nutritional yeast. This time Jatin was skeptical about the taste but after having just one bite, he gave his verdict – It is Delicious! Since then, we make pesto at home and use it as a dip, sandwich spread, salad dressing or just to make some quick pasta.
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How to make pesto?
There are two ways to pesto at home.
- Using Mortar Pestle – hand pound everything till they form a coarse mixture. This is the traditional way of making pesto. It makes the pesto more aromatic and flavorful. It is time-consuming and needs some elbow grease. But trust me, it is more fun to make it since you can experience the aroma as you keep adding each ingredient.
- Using Mixer Grinder – This is the modern way of making pesto at home. It is a much simpler and quicker way to make it. If you have to make a big batch of pesto to feed the entire family, this is the method to go to. You may need to add some water or milk to grind everything well.
- Cashew: Substitute cashews with pine nuts, almonds, or pistachios.
- Nutritional Yeast: Use grated parmesan cheese instead.
- Pasta: Use any pasta of choice and boil them as per the packet instructions.
- Veggies: Add any vegetable like mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, aubergine, onion, cherry tomatoes, etc.
Is this recipe Vegan?
Yes. This basil pesto pasta recipe is totally plant-based and vegan. It doesn’t have any cheese to it. Instead of cheese, I added cashew and nutritional yeast to the pesto recipe. These ingredients add a nice cheesy flavor to the pesto.
How to cook Pasta?
Pasta is easy to cook but if you won’t pay attention then it is very easy to ruin it. Overcooking makes it soggy and mushy and it doesn’t taste good. Follow the below-mentioned tips to cook pasta just perfectly:
- Cook it as per the packet instructions.
- Take a large pan to boil pasta. Small pans overcrowd the pasta and make them sticky and mushy.
- Add ONLY SALT in water to boil pasta. NO OIL is needed.
- Add pasta only when water starts to boil.
- Keep stirring in between to prevent them from sticking with each other.
- Pasta takes around 10 – 12 minutes to cook. Keep an eye and take a bite of it to see if they are cooked. Boil only until they are just cooked. Then remove from the flame and drain off the water.
How to store Basil Pesto?
You can make a big batch of basil pesto and refrigerate it for up to 5 to 7 days.
If you want to store it for a longer time, then put it in the freezer. It can last for more than a month. Whenever you want to make a tomato pesto pasta recipe, take out the pesto from the freezer well in advance to thaw well, or else, put the jar in hot water and de-freeze the pesto.
How to use Basil Pesto?
You can use homemade pesto to make pasta, salads, and sandwiches, or you can even eat it as a dip with crackers or bread. It tastes very good with soft and moist ladi pav (dinner rolls or milk bread).
More recipes to try
Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this Italian treat at home. It is perfect for lunch, brunch, or dinner. If you try this recipe & like it too, please share the photo of your creation on Instagram and tag us @thefearlesscooking. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.
Happy Cooking 🙂
Love from us
Richa & Jatin