Basil Pesto Pasta


I love that in just a few minutes I can whip up a tasty, healthy meal for one when I’m pushed for time. This Basil Pesto Pasta can be dressed up or down (I’ve listed some suggestions at the end of the recipe), and with the variety of good gluten-free pasta products available these days, it’s no problem to steer clear of gluten.


Serves 1 meal or 2 side dishes

Ingredients (Click here for unit converter)

  • 100g dried pasta (I used gluten-free spirals)
  • ½ cup (about 15g) packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Shaved parmesan cheese, to serve
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions until tender. Drain. Return to pan.
  2. Meanwhile, process basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan, scraping down sides occasionally, until almost smooth (it’s nice to leave it a bit rustic).
  3. With motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream. Process to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add pesto to pasta. Toss to combine and serve immediately with shaved parmesan cheese and an extra sprinkling of sea salt and cracked pepper.

Tip: This is a basic basil pesto pasta recipe. You can add any number of further ingredients to spice it up, such as broccoli florets, asparagus spears, or chopped spinach, cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, olives, tofu, or sliced avocado. If you want to go down a more hedonistic route, you might choose to include some diced crispy bacon, some flaked fresh or smoked salmon, or add a splash of heavy cream into the mix at the end.

Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting


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