Pesto Pasta

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 10 minutes (for pasta)

Serves:Makes about 3/4 cup

By Cathy Fisher
Ah, lovely pesto! "But don't you need oil and cheese to make pesto?"; No way! These ingredients are traditional, but they can be simply omitted, resulting in a sauce that is much lighter and fresher in taste. Great with sauteed vegetables (green beans, tomatoes and yellow squash), as well as over zucchini strands (cooked or raw) or on steamed potatoes.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 large bunch (30-40 leaves) fresh basil
  • 12-16 ounces cooked whole-grain spaghetti or fettuccini pasta
  • 2 tbsp walnuts for garnish (optional)


In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth (1 to 2 minutes), adding a bit of water as needed to thin.

Return the just-cooked and drained pasta to its cooking pot with the heat on medium-low, and add the pesto, stirring for 2-3 minutes until the pasta is completely coated and the pesto is warmed through (adding water as needed). Serve immediately as is or with sauteed vegetables. Optional: serve with a light dusting of grated walnuts on top (using a rotary cheese grater).