Spaghetti with Pesto

Is it me or does it seem like the closer you get to the end of the year the faster the days fly by?  I feel like I used to get so much done during the day and still have time left over to plan dinner menus.  I’m almost convinced that the days are getting shorter…it’s either that or my organizational skills have gone to hell and left me with very poor time management skills.   Anytime I feel like time is out of my control, I always fall back on pasta dishes because of the ease of preparation and the fact that you don’t need a whole bunch of ingredients. More often than not, you have everything you need in your pantry! In this case, Spaghetti and Pesto.  Easy Peasy!

I really prefer to make my own pesto but when I’ve run out,  I use my favorite store-bought jar.  I’m lucky to have an Italian grocery store close by that make their own so I usually have a jar of their green stuff in my fridge.  On busy evenings when I’m rushing to make dinner, it’s a real time-saver!  Pesto is a paste made by crushing together basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil.  The uses of pesto are endless – basically, I can pretty much eat pesto on anything.  I spread it on sandwiches, pizza, garlic bread, bruschetta, baked potato and much more.  It’s definitely one of those condiments that’s almost always in my fridge due to its versatility!

To start, prepare your spaghetti according to package directions.  My rule with any pasta is to make sure you have a large pot, generously salt the water and cook until just done.  I also never  rinse my pasta…you want the starch to help your sauces stick!

This step is totally optional because olive oil and garlic are already in the prepared pesto but I love lots of garlic and more ROBUST flavors.  I also feel that the pesto loosens up a bit from the olive oil in the warm pan.  When spaghetti has about a minute more to go, get the olive oil into a saute pan, add minced garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes (both peppers optional – I like my food with a “kick”).  Saute for about a minute and turn heat off.

Drain your spaghetti and add it directly to the pan, add the pesto and toss well.   If you don’t want to be as decadent as I am and skipped the above step, just put your pesto in the bottom of a serving bowl, add your drained spaghetti and toss to combine.

That’s it kids…yeah, that quick! You can add as much or as little pesto as you want at this point.

Plate up..or is it bowl up! Whatever you serve it in, it tastes fresh and herby! Season with salt and pepper if necessary but definitely top with grated Parmesan.  How easy was that?

Recipe for: Spaghetti with Pesto

Servings: 2

Ingredients Directions
  • 1/2Ib Spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • Pinch Black Pepper*
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes*
  • 1/4 cup Pesto
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

*optional

  1. In a large pasta pot, bring generously salted water to a boil and add your spaghetti. Cook until al dente or per directions on your package.
  2. In a saute pan, add olive oil, garlic, black pepper and pepper flakes and saute for about 1-2 minutes. Turn heat off.
  3. Drain your spaghetti and add it to the saute pan with the garlic, top with pesto and stir to combine. Serve in bowls, season with salt and pepper and top with grated Parmesan.
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