Pasta with Pesto


There is no better combination than Pasta with Pesto. Pesto can be made in many different ways. I prefer the traditional Genovese basil pesto but I’ve heard of pesto made with arugula or chervil and sorrel leaves.

Pesto is very versatile in Italian cooking. It can be used with pastas, soups and meats or can be simple spread on toasted pieces of Italian bread. There are three main Italian variations. Pesto alla Genovese traditionally uses Genovese basil, salt, garlic, Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Pesto alla Siciliana uses tomatoes and much less basil and the Pesto alla Calabrese uses grilled red peppers and fresh ground black pepper to spice up the sauce.

The pesto in this Pasta with Pesto recipe can be made ahead of time and kept frozen for up to 6 months. Enjoy!


  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of toasted pin nuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper


  • In a food processor add the basil and the pine nuts and pulse for about 1 minute.
  • Add the garlic and pulse for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is on.
  • With a spatula scrape down the sides.
  • Add the grated cheese, salt and pepper and blend.
  • In 6 quarts of salted boiling water cook the cavatelli for around 10 minutes.
  • Drain and top with the pesto sauce.

    Serves 4 people.

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