Pecan Pesto Pasta

by ben smithson on

Our section of Dallas was sprayed overnight with Duet pesticide. I understand that people are dying. And that sucks. And it also sucks that we have to fog the entire city due to the public’s lack of awareness and preparedness for this stupid outbreak. On the record: the long-term risks from spraying outweigh the more natural┬ápreventative┬ámethods. Okay, I’m done bitching.

After pruning blooms early this week, and after giving some basil to my neighbor Angelica down the street, I trimmed even more off to make a big batch of pesto. Even after all this pruning, the basil plants (I have 5 of them) scoffed at my attempt to get them under control. If anything, the pruning will help them grow back even stronger.


So here’s a rule-of-thumb recipe for making a nice, easy Pecan Pesto Pasta:

Pecan Pesto Pasta


  • 1 box of farfalle [bow tie] pasta. I like this type of pasta because the nooks and crannies make for nice pesto clinging
  • basil (a lot), washed and picked from the stems
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 3/4 cup pecans (shelled)


  1. Boil pasta according to instructions on the box.
  2. In a food processor*, combine all other ingredients (listed above). Pulse, adding basil in batches if you have to.
  3. If you taste it and you need more of this-or-that, then do it! There’s no hard and fast rule to making pesto. It’s more of what you like.
  4. Once you reach the consistency of an oily paste – that sort of sticks to the side of a spatula – you’re finished!
  5. When the pasta is ready, drain it and return to pan. Add the pesto, stirring in a little bit at a time. Once you reach the consistency you’d like, enjoy!

*Note: A food processor will always work best for something like this, where you need lots of “blade” action to cut up ingredients. A blender will work… just not so great.

Basil, two kinds!

I picked mostly sweet basil, but also threw some purple basil in there for a slightly different flavor profile.

Pecan Pesto in the food processor

Here’s a shot of finished pesto in the food processor. You can see the consistency here.

Farfalle and finished pesto

Farfalle or fusilli both work well; they have nooks and crannies that hold sauce better than other types of pasta.

One comment

  1. I can’t wait to try this. After growing basil last year and realizing I don’t love it that much, I now have rogue basil popping up all over the place. Now I suppose I have something to do with it…

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