This delicious Pesto Tagliatelle features thick strands of pasta coated in an aromatic and flavorful homemade basil pesto sauce.
When it comes to pasta, the long, thick strands of toothsome tagliatelle and pappardelle are my favorites. These are the perfect pastas to toss with a basil pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto because they have a larger surface area to hold onto more sauce.
I always make basil pesto myself (using this recipe). There’s a happy little basil plant growing in my front window as we speak. I love the smell of fresh basil.
Making your own pesto takes very little effort. You’ll need a food processor or stick blender with a chopper to blend it up properly. Once it’s blended, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a few weeks in an airtight container.
What Ingredients You Need
Basil – 1 bunch of basil will yield about an ounce. Washed, dried and stems removed.
Parmesan cheese – Crumbled or shredded. Typically used in classic pesto. You could use Pecorino Romano as well. It has a slightly stronger flavor.
Pine nuts – Toasted. The edible seeds of pine trees. They can be quite expensive. If you can’t find pine nuts you could substitute walnuts.
Olive oil – The quality of the olive oil is very important because it’s one of the main ingredients. A low-quality or flavorless olive oil won’t add the amazing character and flavor.
Garlic – Garlic contains antioxidants. One clove is all you need though if you really like garlic you could sneak more in.
Salt – To taste
Tagliatelle Pasta – Homemade or store bought pasta. The long, thick strands of toothsome tagliatelle or pappardelle are perfect pastas to toss with a basil pesto because they have a larger surface area to hold onto more sauce.
There are many uses for it, beyond this pesto tagliatelle and pesto pappardelle. It makes a great sauce for this shaved asparagus salad and this zucchini noodles and shrimp dish. It’s also lovely on potato gnocchi.
One of the best things about this recipe is how simple it is to make. The most difficult thing to mix up is the pesto, and that’s a breeze. Then you just have to boil the pasta and toss the two together.
Making Your Own Pasta
If you want to try your hand at making your own pasta, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s not difficult or scary to make your own pasta.
Here is an incredibly easy homemade pasta recipe that only requires you to mix flour with eggs and knead the dough.
- 2 large eggs
- 200g of 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
Make a mound out of the flour (reserving about 20 grams to use only if necessary). Swirl a whole in the middle of the mound with your fingers. Crack the eggs into the center of the mound.
Using a fork, beat the eggs gently, then start to incorporate the surrounding flour, slowly, until fully combined. Add the extra flour only if the dough is too sticky. Then knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic.
Rolling the Pasta
There are two ways to roll your fresh pasta. You can knead it and roll it out with a rolling pin. This takes a bit of muscle and time, but it’s not difficult. Or you can use a pasta maker. There are three different types of pasta makers.
There is a third, even easier option. If you’ve ever wanted to make fresh pasta, but didn’t want to do the work, you need this.
How much homemade pasta per person?
I recommend a 2 ounce serving of fresh pasta per person. Once the pasta is cooked it equals around 1 cup of pasta, which is a decent serving. The recipe above makes 4 servings.
The Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, if you don’t use it all right away. It’s a great way to make a fresh pasta for lunch with very little effort.
Pesto can also be frozen. I like to fill a large ice cube tray (like this one) with pesto and freeze them. Each individual cube is enough for two servings. When frozen like this it is easy to add to soups for a little extra flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions?
What is tagliatelle?
It is a type of pasta made from egg dough. It is popular in the north of Italy. The shape is similar to fettuccine. It is cut into long, thick bands. The larger the surface area the more sauce it can hold on to.
How do I heat the pesto?
You shouldn’t heat the pesto itself. Heating the pesto will change the color, texture and taste of the fresh basil. Cook the pasta and drain it then toss with the pesto. The heat from the pasta will warm the pesto. Reserve some pasta cooking water to stir into the pesto if it is too thick.
What basil is best to use in pesto?
The most commonly used basil for pesto is Italian basil or sweet basil. It has smooth, bright green leaves and has a robust, sweet and slightly spicy flavor.
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Pesto Tagliatelle Pasta
- 4-6 ounces fresh tagliatelle pasta
- 1 ounce fresh basil leaves
- 1 ounce Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted for extra flavor
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic
- Salt to taste
- Boil a pot of water on the stove top and cook the pasta for 3-5 minutes, if fresh (10-12 minutes if dried). Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
- Add the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil and clove to a food processor or chopper attachment. Blend until ingredients are mostly blended. Pesto should still be slightly chunky, not smooth.
- Add the pesto to the pasta. Stir well to coat. Warm the pasta over medium heat. Serve.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.