Spaghetti with Pecan-Herb Pesto

"Pecans add a nutty sweetness to this pesto."
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1 1/2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

1/2 cup pecans

Kosher salt1 pound spaghetti

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scatter the pecans on a rimmed sheet pan and toast until they are fragrant and a shade or two darker, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water.
  3. Meanwhile, put the pecans in a food processor with the lemon zest, basil, parsley and garlic and pulse six or seven times to make a chunky paste. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl and, with the processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream to make an almost-smooth pesto.
  4. Scrape the pesto into a large serving bowl and stir in the cheese. Season with salt. Add the spaghetti and toss, adding the reserved pasta water to loosen, if needed.
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