Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe
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This recipe is for one of my favorite pasta dishes ever: Creamy Pesto Pasta. Our daughter requests this recipe often. I think she has good taste! It’s quick and easy to throw together in no time. Make your own fresh basil pesto or buy it already prepared. Once the pesto is made this Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe is so very quick, and perfect for any night of the week.
This pasta recipe calls for a basic fresh basil pesto. And look! There just so happens to be one right here: Basic Basil Pesto Recipe. In addition to the pesto, you’ll need extra virgin olive oil, heavy cream and a pasta of your choice.
Once you’ve made the fresh pesto:
- In a saute pan heat approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the pesto and mix into the oil. Be sure to stir often as the pesto warms.
- When the pesto is warmed and just a little bubbly, slowly stream in about 1/4 c. heavy cream as you whisk lightly. If you want to add more cream, go for it. You can always add some pasta water to thin out the sauce, if needed. Here I added about 3 tablespoons.
- Turn down the heat and continue to stir to incorporate the cream and pesto. (I use a flat bottom whisk that works very well for cream sauces and gravies.) Don’t forget to salt and pepper to taste.
Add the drained pasta to the sauce tossing to cover every nook and cranny with the fresh pesto goodness. I used a 16 oz. box of butterfly/bowtie pasta (or farfalle: far-fa-lay) which I tend to prefer for this pesto pasta dish because it grabs onto the sauce so well (plus it is so very cute!), but you may certainly use whatever tickles your fancy.
This sauce is rich and creamy and so very tasty. Throw in some grilled chicken, shrimp or broccoli to change it up. Get creative with it.
Please note that I’m not a chef, but I play one in our home. While this process may not be what the pros do (or maybe some do) it works for me just fine, plus it’s easy. And easy is always a good thing.
Creamy Pesto Pasta recipe notes:
- If fresh basil is not readily available for making the homemade pesto, there are a couple of pre-made options that will work well in a pinch.
- Chicken, shrimp or broccoli can easily be added to the this recipe by cooking them in the same pan in a bit of olive oil prior to cooking the pesto sauce. Cook until done (about 6-7 minutes chicken, 3 minutes for shrimp, and a few minutes for broccoli) and then remove from the pan and cover to keep warm. Add back in once the sauce has been made.
Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe
- 1 cup of Basic Basil Pesto recipe
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound favorite pasta, cooked
- Heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add pesto and mix into the oil. Be sure to stir often as the pesto warms.
- When the pesto is warmed and just a little bubbly, slowly stream in the heavy cream as you stir. (You can always add more cream it you'd like.)
- Add some pasta water to thin out the sauce, if needed.
- Turn down the heat and continue to stir to incorporate the cream and pesto. Salt and pepper to taste.
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