Lemon Pesto Pasta

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Lemon Pesto Pasta
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Basil is my favorite herb, and this dish is one of my all-time favorite uses of it. We’ve served this to just about everyone who has ever eaten at our house, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love it. It’s a perfect summer dish — light, fresh, citrusy and fragrant. Plus it is incredibly simple — you can make it ahead and serve it either hot or cold. And it stores well, with the flavor intensifying overnight. So we usually make a big batch and eat it all week. Cook once, eat twice.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Lemon Pesto Pasta
Print Recipe
Basil is my favorite herb, and this dish is one of my all-time favorite uses of it. We’ve served this to just about everyone who has ever eaten at our house, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love it. It’s a perfect summer dish — light, fresh, citrusy and fragrant. Plus it is incredibly simple — you can make it ahead and serve it either hot or cold. And it stores well, with the flavor intensifying overnight. So we usually make a big batch and eat it all week. Cook once, eat twice.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Instructions
  1. Pick the leaves from the basil stems, wash the basil & lemon, and zest the lemon.
  2. Combine the basil, lemon zest & juice, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic in a food processor.
  3. Blend until it’s well chopped, stopping to scrape the sides as needed.
  4. Add the olive oil and puree until the pesto is thick and creamy, but not liquefied. At this point you can eat the pesto straight up, and I often do. It’s great on a slice of bread, and even better with tomatoes and mozzarella.
  5. Prepare a pasta of your choice according to the package directions (I usually use whole grain Penne or Farfalle, but any kind will work).
  6. Drain the pasta, leaving a bit of the water on the pasta so it’s still wet. Add the pesto to the pasta and stir until it’s evenly covered.
  7. Sprinkle with shaved parmesan. Eat. Love.
  8. VARIATION: Instead of lemon, try sun dried tomatoes. Just skip all the parts about lemon, and add sun-dried tomatoes instead, blending them in the processor with the other ingredients. This is a delicious and savory twist, and tastes great either straight-up or over pasta.
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 ** You’ll see that I often don’t designate specific quantities and measurements in my recipes. I do this because you know better than I do how much food your family needs and what your tastes are. Cooking isn’t an exact science, anyway — it’s more of an art. (Baking is another story — it actually is science — so I include measurements for my baking recipes.) So use whatever quantity you’d like, make changes to suit your tastes, and substitute ingredients to reflect what’s fresh in the garden and what’s available in your kitchen.

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