Thai Basil Pesto Pasta

by Jacob
4 Servings
30 min

Other than cooking, there is nothing I love more than gardening and growing my own veggies and herbs in the summer time. Plus, cooking with your own home grown goods always tastes better! Somehow every year though I am left with a hug abundance of herbs. The best (and my favorite) way to use up all the leftover herbs is to turn them into a pesto. And thus, this Thai Basil Pesto Pasta was born.

This Thai Basil Pesto pasta adds an Asian flare to the classic Italian dish. Thai basil is one of my favorite herbs because it adds an herbaceous punch to every dish with a slight hint of anise flavor. You could swap out the the Thai basil or regular basil or even use a combination of the two! Overall, it's extremely easy to make, incredibly delicious, healthy, and way better than any you could buy at the store.

What to put Thai basil peso on

Not only is this Thai basil pesto super delicious on pastas, but it is also extremely versatile and tastes great with virtually everything. This pesto pairs beautifully with almost any meat or fish. It makes for a great topping over grilled chicken. It can also be used to top off your favorite roasted veggies. Other uses for this Thai basil pesto include using it as a salad dress, dipping sauce, or using it as a garnish. There are plenty of uses for this pesto and I encourage to get creative because it tastes great on everything!

Quick and Helpful tips:

  • Equipment is key. Make sure to use a blender if at all possible. A food processor will work in a pinch, but a blender will result in a better texture for your pesto.
  • Make sure to reserve the pasta water. It is liquid gold!
  • Making pesto is all about finding that perfect balance between herbs, olive oil, lemon, and salt. So make sure to taste the pesto and adjust for seasoning as needed.
  • You want to very generously season the pasta water. This ensure your pasta doesn't come out bland.
  • Use good quality ingredients. You will be able to taste the difference.

Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 2 cups Thai basil leaves
  • 2.5 tablespoons miso
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pound of pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Thai Basil Pesto Sauce
Set a large pot to medium high heat, once hot toast the pine nuts for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Then season the toasted pine nuts with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the Thai basil, fish sauce, garlic, olive oil, toasted pine nuts, miso, and lemon juice to a blender and blend until smooth.
For the Pasta
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling generously season the water with salt. Pour in the pasta and cook per box instruction.
When the pasta is done cooking reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the water.
Return the pasta back to the pot. To the pasta add as much of the pesto as you like with 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and stir until combined. Add enough pasta water to achieve your desired pesto sauce consistency.
To serve, divide the pasta into 4 portions (or 6 if using it as an appetizer). Optionally, you can top off the pasta with grated parmesan, crushed Szechuan peppercorns, or red pepper flakes and enjoy!
  • While a food processor would work, I recommend using a blender if you have one. Using a blender will result with a smoother pesto sauce.
  • Making pesto is all about finding that perfect balance between herbs, olive oil, lemon, and salt. So make sure to taste the pesto and adjust for seasoning as needed.
  • Make sure to heavily season the pasta water. You want it to be as salty as the ocean. This ensures your pasta isn't bland.
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