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Chef Megan Mitchell

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Simple Pesto Pasta for Two

  • Serves: 2
  • Complexity: very easy
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Simple Pesto Pasta for Two


  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, plus more garnish
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 small lemon, zested
  • 2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 8 ounces fusilli bucatini pasta, or any long cut pasta
  • 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid
  • Optional add-ins:
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, add to pasta 45 seconds before done cooking
  • 3 ounces arugula, toss with pesto to wilt slightly


  1. Fill a medium sauce pot 3/4’s full with water. Bring to a boil and season liberally with salt.

  2. While the water comes up to a boil make the pesto. In a small food processor combine the basil leaves, walnuts, lemon zest, EVOO and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Blend until a chunky paste forms.

    Pour into a bowl and stir in the parmesan. 

  3. Cook the pasta per package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

  4. Drain the pasta and place back into the pot. Pour the pesto over and toss, adding a few tablespoons of cooking liquid if it looks too dry. Taste for seasoning. 

  5. To serve equally portion the pasta into two shallow bowls, top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a few small basil leaves.

    Recipe Courtesy of Megan Mitchell

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