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Pesto Fusilli

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


My favorite kind of pasta to toss fresh pesto with is fusilli – I can easily find it at my grocery store here, but obviously, you can use any type of pasta.



Walnut Pesto:

  • 1 ½ cups packed arugula leaves
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound long fusilli pasta* (or your favorite pasta)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced and crisped (optional)


For the walnut pesto: In a food processor, combine the arugula, basil, Parmesan, walnuts, garlic, lemon zest and juice, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and pulse to blend. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 11 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Add the drained pasta to the pan, along with the walnut pesto, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest, and reserved cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with extra Parmesan and crisped pancetta, if using.

*if you can’t find fusilli, you can use any other pasta

  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: italian