Homemade lemon pesto with pasta

    30 min

    Light, yet packed full of flavour, this homemade lemon, basil and spinach pesto is perfect tossed with hot spaghetti for a quick dinner. It is also excellent as a pizza sauce or smeared on hot crusty bread. It freezes well so you can be reminded of the taste of summer basil in the duller months!

    13 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 450g spaghetti
    • 120g Pecorino cheese, cut into cubes
    • 6 cloves garlic
    • 60g baby spinach leaves
    • 40g basil leaves
    • 60g chopped walnuts
    • 60ml lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook spaghetti until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes; drain. Transfer spaghetti into a large bowl.
    2. Place cubes of cheese in the bowl of a food processor; process until coarsely grated, about 30 seconds. Add garlic into the food processor and process until the cheese and garlic are combined. Add spinach, basil, walnuts, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt; process until the mixture comes together into a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
    3. With food processor running, drizzle olive oil into the mixture. Continue processing until the oil is integrated smoothly.
    4. Pour sauce over spaghetti and toss to coat.

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    Reviews in English (37)


    Thanks so much AR for correcting the amount of lemon juice! You guys rock! My submitted recipe called for 1/4 cup lemon juice- I let AR know about it an they corrected the recipe! I recommend tossing the pesto with hot pasta so the cheese sort of melts and coats each strand. You might want to reserve a ladle or two of hot pasta water so you can add a little while tossing if you want a saucier dish.  -  07 Jun 2013  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Just loved this recipe. I used Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and capellini as the pasta. After mixing the pesto with the pasta in the pasta pot I added additional grated Parmigiano and mozzarella. Then replaced the lid and allowed the cheese to soften. Will be making again. Thank you Baking Nana for this recipe.  -  14 Jun 2013  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I am surprised that we didn't like this more. My family is all over pesto and garlic. For some reason the garlic overpowered our dish- to the point it was spicy, really spicy. And we could hardly taste the lemon. I made this exactly as baking nana suggested. No substitutions. I am not sure what happened but this isn't for us.- update!! Just had the leftovers and this was DELISH.  -  24 Jun 2013  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)