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Simple Basil Pesto with Walnuts

This nutty Walnut-Basil pesto goes perfectly with any pasta on a busy night. Freezer friendly and easy to make, you will want to store your freezer with this pesto!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Course: Appetizer, dinner, Lunch
Diet: Italian
Servings: 4 1/2 cup containers
Author: Zainab Jabri


  • Food Processor


  • ¾ cup Walnut Halves
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cups Basil Leaves washed, dried and stems removed
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp Lemon Juice to taste

Orecchiette Pasta with Pesto

  • 2 cups Orecchiette Pasta
  • 2-3 tbsp Pesto
  • 1/2 cup Pasta Water
  • Olive Oil as needed


  • In a food processor, add in your walnuts and long pulse for 10 seconds. You want the walnuts to be a small grain texture.
  • Add in the peeled garlic cloves and pulse with walnuts until well combined.
  • While pulsing the walnuts with garlic, start adding in the olive oil.
  • Add the basil leaves to the food processor and pulse until the basil is combined with the other ingredients. Depending on your food processor, you may have to stop and scrape down the sides before continuing.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor. Blend until well combined, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Taste the pesto, add salt and lemon juice as needed. You can also add in more olive if needed, but I will add more olive oil to the container that I'm storing it into or add olive oil when cooking with the pesto.
  • To store, place into 1/2 cup freezer-safe containers and top with some olive oil. Seal with lid and place in freezer for up to six months.
  • To defrost for use, place in the fridge to defrost overnight.

To Make Orecchiette Pasta with Pesto

  • Boil dry pasta in salted water - per box instructions
  • Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Drain the pasta and place in a serving dish
  • Drizzle over pasta with some olive oil and add in the pasta water and pesto.
  • Combine well, the pesto will have a creamy consistency.
  • Shave on some cheese and enjoy!
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