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  • Writer's pictureLearning How To Cook

20-Minute Pesto Pasta

Spiraled cavatappi pasta passes for brains in this Zombie Brains Pasta.

We topped ours with pesto and parmesan for a delicious and spooky entree - for a more ghoulish look, try a red tomato sauce, or even add food coloring to the cooking water to color the noodles in any spooky color you want!

20-Minute Pesto Pasta

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Servings: 6-8

For the Pasta

16 ounces Cavatappi Pasta

Salt for cooking water

1/2 cup Pesto, or more to taste*

1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated, or more to taste

For the Pesto

2 cups Fresh Basil**

2 tablespoons Pine Nuts, toasted

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated

1-2 teaspoons Lemon Juice, to taste

Pinch Salt, to taste

*We used jarred pesto when we prepared this recipe, however pesto can just as easily be made from scratch using the recipe above.

**For an even brighter pesto, try quickly blanching the basil before adding to the blender.


1. Bring 4 quarts of water in a stockpot to a rolling boil. Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt (or to taste) and add pasta. Cook according to package directions, for us it was about 10 minutes to reach al dente. Drain. Toss with pesto and parmesan and serve.

Homemade Pesto

1. Place basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in food processor and blend until smooth. While still running, gradually add the olive oil and run until homogenous. Add the parmesan cheese, lemon juice and salt and pulse until combined. Refrigerate 1 week or freeze up to 6 months.

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