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A light colored plate with three swirls of pasta al pesto on it and basil leaves as a garnish and a fork with pasta wrapped around it with another pasta plate in the right corner.

Pasta Al Pesto (Linguine With Basil Pesto)

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  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: main dish, side
  • Method: food processor
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


Pasta Al Pesto with homemade basil pesto is a classic Italian dish combining fresh basil, roasted pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and nutritional yeast with al dente cooked linguine paste.


  • 7 oz. (200 gr) linguine pasta
  • 1 tsp salt (to boil the linguine with)
  • ~ ½ cup (60 gr) pine nuts
  • 2 cups (45 gr) loosely packed fresh basil leaves + a few leaves for serving
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (add more if you like a garlicky flavor)
  • 2 tbsp (18 gr) nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • ~ 1 1/4 tbsp (20 gr) vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water with salt to a boil. Cook the linguine according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  2. Drain the pasta and set it aside (you can return it to the same pot).
  3. Add the pine nuts to a dry pan and roast until most of the pine nuts turn brown. Keep an eye on the pan, as pine nuts tend to burn quickly. Give the pan a shake often to prevent the pine nuts from burning.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. In a food processor, pulse together basil, garlic, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until it is semi-smooth. Blend the ingredients until they are well combined, and slowly add the olive oil.
  5. If the pesto is too thick and dry, add a little pasta water to thin it out. It should be smooth with a bit of texture.
  6. Add the pesto to the pot with cooked linguine and toss until the pasta is evenly coated. If the pasta seems dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  7. Taste the pesto before serving and adjust the seasoning according to your taste. You may need to add more salt or pepper to enhance the flavors.
  8. Serve the pesto pasta immediately, garnished with basil leaves, nutritional yeast (or vegan Parmesan cheese), and a sprinkle of black pepper, if desired. 


  • Store
    Store pesto in an airtight container or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add plastic wrap on top and fill extra space with olive oil. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • Freeze
    If you are not going to use it within that time, consider freezing it in ice cube trays or small containers for up to 3 months.
  • Serving portions
    Italian guidelines recommend 100 grams (3-1/2 ounces) or less of uncooked/dried pasta or less for 1 serving per person.
  • Don’t over-process the pesto
    Keep pesto slightly coarse for a bold basil flavor. Over-processing can heat it and weaken the flavors. So, avoid excessive blending.
  • Garlic
    Crush the garlic when adding to the food processor to avoid clumps of garlic in your pesto.
  • Warm pasta
    Combine pesto with warm, freshly cooked al dente pasta. Cold pasta becomes hard and makes mixing with pesto more difficult.


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 974
  • Sugar: 2.7g
  • Fat: 63.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 84.6g
  • Fiber: 8.4g
  • Protein: 22.2g