Fettuccine with Pesto
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I love making homemade pasta, and this Fettuccine with Pesto dish is a summer favorite. Fresh, light, nutty, and so flavorful.
(Post modified with new photos on 7/26/23.)
One of my favorite meals in the summer is pasta, whether in a tomato sauce, alfredo sauce, or simply coated with herbs and oil, like this recipe.
Pesto is a great way to use your basil and parsley when it is lush and in full season. I like planting my herbs in pots where I can readily access them near my kitchen.
You may also buy fresh herbs in bulk at the grocery store. You will need enough to equal 2 cups, lightly packed.
If you don’t make your own pasta (and I have to ask you WHY not?) or simply do not have the extra time, I highly recommend De Cecco Semolina Pasta, which is a good alternative.
More Pasta Recipes to Enjoy
- Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage
- Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese
- Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs
- Tagliolini with Vegetables and Sausage
Ingredients Needed for Fettucine with Pesto
(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- toasted pine nuts (or slivered almonds)
- fresh parsley and basil
- crushed red pepper flakes
- fettuccine – See my Homemade Recipe Here.
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- freshly grated Parmesan
A Note About Ingredients
Homemade pesto is so easy to make and can easily be adapted to fit available ingredients. Do you have more parsley than basil? That’s okay. Just make sure you use 2 cups combined, lightly packed. Or simply use two cups of parsley. Or 2 cups of basil. I’ve even seen recipes that use mint and tarragon.
If you don’t have pine nuts in your cupboard, you may use slivered almonds, pecans, English walnuts, macadamia nuts, or even pistachios. See this amazing recipe for Pasta with Pistachio Pesto Here.
While I highly suggest roasting your own garlic, you may also substitute jarred minced garlic in it’s place. You’ll simply disregard the first recipe steps of roasting the garlic in oil and salt, and replace it with 3 tablespoons minced garlic.
Want to use linguine instead of fettuccine. Go ahead. Or even tagliatelle or spaghetti. Of course! It’s your dish and it’s your decision. It will be great! If motivated to make your own pasta, see my Homemade Recipe Here.
Instructions for Making This Recipe
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
Using a fine-edged grater, grate the fresh parmesan. Set aside until the end of the recipe.
Prepare the Garlic and Pesto
Cut the tops for the garlic and wrap each in tinfoil, drizzling each head with 1 tablespoon olive oil and seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast in the preheated oven until softened, 45 minutes. Allow to cool.
For a Quick and Easy Adaptation of this Recipe, use canned minced garlic. Of course, baked garlic adds a wonderful taste dimension to this recipe, but jarred minced garlic also works. I’ve used both and both versions are quite yummy!
Squeeze the roasted garlic into a food processor.
Add pine nuts, fresh parsley and basil, and red pepper flakes. Process to make a paste. While machine is running, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.
Scrape pesto into a medium-sized prep bowl.
Prepare the Pasta
In a large pot, bring water to boil, adding a tablespoon of kosher salt to the water. Cook fettuccine to al dente. If you’re using fresh pasta, this will only take a few minutes. Otherwise, follow package directions for cooking.
Drain the pasta water, saving at least 1 cup of the pasta water for using in the dish. Add pesto to the pasta, carefully folding it in with pasta tongs until it has coated the pasta.
Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a little pasta water to the dish if it seems too dry.
Adding pasta water is a wonderful way to enhance your Italian sauces, whether a tomato sauce or a pasta dish such as this one. It will add flavored liquid to a dish, or it could also be used to help thicken a dish due to the starch in it.
Place pasta in a large serving bowl. Before serving, sprinkle with grated Parmesan as a garnish.
This recipe will serve 4-6 people.
This Fettuccine with Pesto dish pairs well with grilled chicken, steak, or pork. Try my Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Recipe Here.
Fettuccine with Pesto
- 2 whole garlic
- 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil divided
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 cup fresh parsley loosely packed
- 1 cup fresh basil loosely packed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound Fettuccine homemade recipe HERE
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Parmesan grated
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
Prepare the Ingredients
- Using a fine-edged grater, grate the fresh parmesan.
- Cut the tops for the garlic and wrap each in tinfoil, drizzling each head with 1 tablespoon olive oil and seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Roast until softened, 45 minutes. Allow to cool.
Make the Pesto
- Squeeze the roasted garlic into a food processor. Add pine nuts, fresh parsley and basil, and red pepper flakes. Process to make a paste.
- While machine is running, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil. Scrape pesto into a medium-sized prep bowl.
Prepare the Pasta
- In a large pot, bring water to boil, adding a tablespoon of salt to the water. Cook fettuccine to al dente, as directed on package.
- Drain the pasta, saving at least one cup for using in this recipe.
- Add the pesto to the pasta. Gently fold to mix until pasta is coated.
- Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a little pasta water to the dish if it seems too dry.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan to serve. Serves 4-6.