Creamy Pesto Pasta

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian


This creamy pesto pasta sauce made from scratch is the perfect way to use your growing basil plants!



  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for serving
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb linguine or pasta of choice
  • 1/3 cup reserved pasta water


  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/3 cup of pasta water and drain pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a food processor add the basil leaves, garlic cloves, pine nuts, cheese, salt/pepper. Blend on high and slowly add in the olive oil. Open and scrape the sides with a spatula to get any leaves that might have been stuck. Blend again and add additional 2 tbsp olive oil.
  3. In a large skillet with high walls over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter, add in the pesto, and stir to combine. Add in the 3 tbsp of heavy cream and crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk together until the sauce is fully combined. Add in the cooked/drained pasta and using tongs, toss to coat the pasta. Add in 2-3 tbsp of reserves pasta water until the pasta is fully coated with the sauce. Serve with additional cheese over the top.


  • If you want the sauce more creamy add 1 additional tbsp of heavy cream.
  • Do not substitute half and half for heavy cream or the consistency will not be the same.

Keywords: Pesto, creamy pesto, pasta