Love pesto pasta? Step aside fusilli. Try it with fresh pappardelle pasta instead. Both homemade and store-bought will work!
For the Basil Pesto
- 70 g (appx. 2 1/2 – 3 cups), small, basil leaves (see note)
- 1 fresh garlic clove, smashed and roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp. pine nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
- 6 tbsp. (packed) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. (packed) grated Pecorino cheese
- Pinch fine sea salt
For the Pasta
Pesto Notes & Tips:
For the basil: choose small, baby basil leaves (Genovese variety). This is key. Grab a few potted plants if you cannot find this type of basil sold in bunches. The leaves should be small and curl under. They are tender and delicious!
Blend the pesto in batches, per the recipe. Doing so, paired with chilling the food processor or blender bowl, blade and olive oil, helps to prevent the basil from bruising and turning black. You’ll also achieve the best texture and flavor.
For the pesto, before you begin: Freeze the bowl and blade of your food processor (or blender) for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the olive oil for 30 minutes. This will prevent the basil from oxidizing.
- Add the garlic, pine nuts and 2 tbsp. of oil to the food processor. Pulse a few times until minced. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.Add the basil leaves and another 2 tbsp. of oil. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the cheeses.
- With the machine running, slowly stream in the rest of the olive oil and blend until creamy.
- Scrape the pesto into a bowl. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt (if needed). Stir in more olive oil to loosen the texture (if needed). It shouldn’t look like a thick glob.
- Cover and set aside at room temperature, if using right away. Or, transfer pesto to a small jar. Top with a layer of olive oil to prevent browning. Refrigerate until ready to use. It should last up to 1 week.
- For the Pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If using my homemade pappardelle recipe, cook the pasta for 5-7 minutes or until aldente. Alternatively, if using store-bought fresh pasta, just following the cooking time listed on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta; add to a large bowl.
- To serve, toss the pasta with some of the pesto, adding more sauce as you go. Thin the consistency with some of the reserved pasta water, if needed. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts and cheese (optional).
Keywords: pesto, pasta, easy, recipe, homemade, Italian, Pesto alla Genovese, classic, pappardelle, fresh, homemade, pasta