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Classic Pesto Pasta


This recipe is restaurant quality. The reviews are always awesome, and the best part is that I make a large batch of the pesto sauce and keep it in the freezer for whenever it’s needed.



1 pound penne pasta (you can use brown rice gluten free pasta if you want)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3 cups of basil, washed and dried

1 cup of pine nuts

1 cup of shredded parmesan

2 cloves of garlic (or 2 cubes frozen garlic)

1 ¼ teaspoon + 1 tablespoon of salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup of pasta water (this will be water that you reserve when you cook the pasta)



Take your basil and pine nuts and place them in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.  Turn the machine on for 30 seconds then shut it off and add the cheese, garlic, 1 ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Run the machine again for another 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is all incorporated. 


Fill a large pot ¾ of the way with cold water.  Cover the pot and put on a medium-high flame. When the water boils, add 1 tablespoon of salt and your pasta to the pot.  Cook your pasta al dente for 8-9 minutes.  (Gluten free may require more time)  Ladle ½ cup of pasta water to the side to use later when tossing the pasta with the pesto.  When the pasta is ready, drain into a colander.  Do not rinse the pasta, just put it right into your serving bowl.


Take your pasta water and about 1 cup of the prepared pesto sauce and toss with your pasta.  You can add a little extra pesto if you need.


Take any leftover pesto and put it into a container with plastic wrap pushed directly on to the surface of the pesto.  Then seal the container tightly with its lid.  The pesto stays in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Plan Ahead:

The pesto sauce can be made and frozen up to 2 months in advance.  Defrost it in the fridge the day before you plan to use it.  The pasta should be made and tossed prior to serving.

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