Fresh pesto pasta with tomatoes is a delicious and fairly simple meal. Pesto is appropriate for vegetarians, and with a minor substitution it can be great for vegans, too. Basil and tomatoes are especially tasty during the summer months, and a good way to take advantage of fresh produce.

Things You'll Need

Cook the pasta. Boil a large pot of water, add your pasta, and set a timer for eight minutes. Angel hair pasta has a light texture that adds an elegant touch to this meal, but other types of pasta can also work.

Start preparing the pesto while the pasta cooks. Use an entire bunch of fresh basil, or several very large handfuls if you pick it yourself. Pick the leaves and put them in a food processor.

Add about a cup of pine nuts, a quarter cup of olive oil, a half cup of parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast for a vegan version), and one or two peeled cloves of garlic. Puree to a fine paste, adding more oil if necessary. Add salt generously, to taste.

Test the pasta. If it tastes done, drain the water out and immediately stir in the pesto, which should keep the pasta from sticking together too badly.

Chop fresh tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes into the pasta, or sprinkle a few on top of each serving.


  • Pesto keeps well, especially in the freezer, so this is a great way to use a surplus of fresh basil.

  • If you don’t have a food processor, mince the ingredients with a knife, and crush them more in a large mortar and pestle if you like. The texture will be rougher than the processed version, but still delicious.

  • The pesto and fresh tomatoes are delicious on toast, as well as pasta.