Homemade Pesto with Penne Pasta

The basil in our Aerogarden has been growing wildly lately and needed to be, umm, harvested. To maximize its usage, I decided to make pesto because it would use the most basil and make something we haven’t tried in a while. I combined regular and lemon basil since both needed to be used up and made a very quick and simple pesto that I served on top of penne pasta. Per Jen’s suggestion, I also sautéed some baby spinach to add a little more flavor and greenery to the dish, and was very happy with the result. I think pesto and pasta can be improvised with, so the ingredients, amounts and yield are rough.

Homemade Pesto with Penne Pasta

Yield: 2-3 servings


  • 1-2 cups of basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/2-1 cup of grated Parmesan (I actually used a mixture of grated gourmet cheeses)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or 1 huge one that I had in stock)
  • penne or any other pasta, cooked al dente
  • spinach (optional)


Boil water and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packaging. Put all the pesto ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency.

Sautée spinach in a small pan, using a bit of cooking oil.

Combine pasta, pesto, and spinach. Sprinkle with additional cheese and pine nuts if you like and serve!


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