Pasta with Basil Pesto

This classic fresh and simple pasta with basil pesto is perfect for weeknight dinners. Traditionally, boiled potatoes and green beans are added but roasted chicken or grilled shrimp are also delicious.


1 pound pasta, such as trofie, fusilli or farfalle
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Basil Pesto
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (about 1 large bunch basil)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, make the basil pesto. Add basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese to food processor. Pulse to combine, adding more olive oil if needed, to make a smooth paste. Alternatively, use mortar and pestle.

Place the pesto in a large bowl and add 2 to 3 tbsp. of the pasta water to loosen. Add the pasta. Toss to combine. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.