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Pasta al Pesto

Pasta al Pesto
  • coursePrimo piatto
  • difficultyEasy
  • preparation time30 minutes

At Eataly, we encourage you to cook at home. Donning the apron need not take hours, though – especially with this simple, quality recipe for pesto pasta. In Ligurian dialect, pestâ means “crush.” Pesto, originating in Liguria's port city Genova, is typically comprised of freshly-crushed basil, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, sea salt, and garlic.

Pasta al Pesto (Pesto Pasta)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly

Yield: 4 servings

1 (17.6-ounce package) pasta, such as penne or spaghetti
1 (7.17-ounce jar) Genovese pesto
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Sea salt, to taste

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil, and add enough salt to make it as salty as the sea (about 2 tablespoons).

Meanwhile, place the pesto in a sauté pan or a shallow mixing dish, and set aside.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until almost al dente, and drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta's cooking water.

Add the pasta to the pesto in the sauté pan or shallow mixing dish but do not place over heat! Toss to combine, and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. If needed, add a small amount of the pasta cooking water to thin the pesto.

When the pasta is completely coated with the pesto, place into a warmed serving dish, and serve.

Variation: Add 1 cup of blanched young green beans (or haricot verts) and 6 new potatoes, boiled and halved. Toss the cooked vegetables with the pesto sauce before adding the cooked pasta.

Buon appetito!

Pasta with basil pesto at Eataly