How to make pasta pesto

By Lotte van Dijck - 15 November 2021

Let's start with the classic student variety of pasta pesto.

Ingredients (for one person, because let's be real you are not making this for your roommates ?):

·        80 grams of pasta

·        1 jar of pesto of your choice


The first step is to start boiling water with some salt. I myself also add a little bit of oil, which should help avoid the pasta sticking together. According to ex Intermania member and Italian Benedetta this is just a wastage of oil, so maybe do not do this. While the water is boiling you can weigh out the pasta or if you are feeling frisky just eyeball it. Once the water is boiling you can chuck in the pasta and boil it according to the packet.

When the pasta is finished cooking you can strain the pasta, after which you can add the pesto.

After which you can eat!


Levelled-up pasta pesto.

This is a bit fancier, it is a nice one to try when the fresh pasta and the fresh sauces are in the Bonus. Since this recipe uses “fresh” pesto.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

·        2 packs of fresh pasta or 320 grams of dried pasta

·        1 or 2 packs of fresh pesto

·        400 grams of cherry tomatoes

·        100 grams of arugula lettuce (rucola)


You start the same, boiling water with salt and optionally some oil. After which you can cook the pasta according to the instruction on the packet.

When the pasta is finished boiling don’t strain it yet, but save a cup of pasta water to add to your sauce later. After this, you can strain the pasta.

After the straining, you can add the pesto and the tomatoes to the pasta. After which it is ready to serve, here you can add arugula to taste.


“Real” Italian pasta pesto

Now the real Dutch version of pasta pesto where you will make the pesto, and pesto yourself.

Ingredients (for 4 people)


·        400 grams of flour

·        4 eggs (or 200 ml of lukewarm water if you want it vegan)

·        1 teaspoon of salt

Pesto (I have not tested this so I hope this is enough….. sorry guys!)

·        20 grams of pine nuts

·        1 clove of garlic

·        25 grams of fresh basil

·        35 grams of parmesan cheese (If you want this vegan, you can leave this out and add extra salt)

·        60 ml of olive oil

·        A pinch of salt


Pasta part 1

Let's start with making the pasta, note that using premade pasta is also fine.

Make a mount of flour, after which you make a dent (this needs to be big enough for the eggs!) in the middle of it so that it looks like a volcano.

Crack the eggs (or water) and put them in the dent.

Break the egg yolks with a fork and slowly incorporate the flour into the mixture. When the liquid is all soaked up by the flour you are ready to knead the dough.

Put in some muscle work and knead the dough for around 10 minutes, or until it does not stick and the dough bounces back when you poke it.

If it is too sticky add more flour, if it is too dry add some water.

When ready form the dough into a ball and put it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 min in the fridge.


Now let's move to the pesto.

If you want you can roast the pine nuts in a pan, make sure you do not use oil, and stay with them so they do not burn!

Next, peel the garlic and chop them roughly.

Put everything in the blender except the olive oil!

Chop everything finely in the blender and slowly add the olive oil until you reach the preferred texture.

If you want to be extra authentic you can use a pestle and mortar.

When using this method you start by smashing the garlic, basil, pine nuts, and salt together to a smooth substance.

Add the parmesan cheese and olive oil until you reach the preferred texture. 

Pasta part 2

When the pasta has rested you can start rolling it out.

But first, put a pan on the stove to boil the water.

Put the pasta on a lightly floured surface.

Section out the pasta (which makes it easier to roll out).

Roll out the pasta to a preferred thickness, when it sticks just put some flour on it.

Making tagliatelle is the easiest so let’s just make this shape.

Fold over the pasta sheets on themselves, dust the pasta so that it does not stick!

Cut the pasta into strips so that a tagliatelle like shaped form is created.

Now you can boil the pasta for a few minutes until they start to float.

Strain the pasta and put it back in the pan.

Stir the homemade pesto into the pasta and Bonne Appetit!


Hopefully, this has given you some inspiration for the next pasta pesto adventure!



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