Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe

This is the fast, easy, and creamy version.

IMAGE Roselle Miranda

Pesto is a sauce made of lots of basil and garlic, pine nuts, a Parmesan cheese, and enough olive oil to make it into a spread. You can make a basic pesto pasta recipe but not all the ingredients are easy to find.

How do you make pesto sauce?

Did you know that you don't have to use pine nuts to make pesto? We love cashews as a creamy swap for pine nuts, but you can use other nuts, too. Here are pine nut substitutes for your pesto that you can easily find and use: 

  • cashews 
  • walnuts 
  • pili nuts 
  • peanuts 
  • sunflower seed nuts 
  • pumpkin seed nuts    

You also do not have to use olive oil either. While it gives the pesto a fantastic flavor, any neutral cooking oil will work, too. Even the basil can be substituted! If you have too many malunggay leaves, add that with the basil leaves to give it even more of a nutritional boost! The one ingredient you shouldn't substitute is the garlic which gives this sauce a unique and deliciously sharp, herb flavor. 

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All you need to do is to combine basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts or your preferred substitute, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor.

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If you want to keep this sauce totally vegetarian without the cheese, you can substitute the Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast for its unique saltiness. 

Now that you know how you can hack your own basic pesto, make a batch and use it to make the basic pesto pasta or this super creamy version that might challenge your love for that other creamy pasta, the Pinoy-style carbonara

 
Photo by Roselle Miranda
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Prep Time
10 mins 
Cooking Time
20 mins 
Ready In
30 mins 
Yield
4
Cuisine
Italian
Cooking Method
Saute, Boil and Cook

Easy Pesto Pasta Ingredients

How to cook Easy Pesto Pasta

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