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5 from 1 vote

Orecchiette Pasta with Pesto

Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Hip Foodie Mom


  • 1- 3/4 pound orecchiette pasta you can use any kind; spaghetti also works really nicely with pesto
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2-3 cloves garlic your preference
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1-1 1/2 cups good extra-virgin olive oil divided (some is for storing the pesto)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 - 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano I used a Parmesan, romano & asiago cheese blend that I already had here at home
  • 1/4 cup walnuts optional


  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with a little olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
  • To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. OR just rinse well with water and dry with a paper towel. (This home girl does not have a salad spinner). If you need to store them: store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.
  • Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil (I used about a cup) into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano (or whatever cheese you are using) and puree for a minute. I also added the salt and pepper into the food processor but you can season later when serving. Up to you!