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Basil Pesto Spaghetti with Marinara & Ricotta

Difficulty Level: Easy

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4 servings


Easy Marinara:

  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1 sprig basil

Basil Pesto:

  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Basil Pesto Spaghetti with Marinara & Ricotta:

  • 1/2 lb. spaghetti, bronze cut

  • 1/2 cup basil pesto

  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

  • 1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes

  • 2 tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the olive oil to a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat. Stir in minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt and a sprig of basil. Stir and then let simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Add more salt to taste.

  2. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add plenty of salt. Cook spaghetti until it is al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

  3. In a food processor, combine basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano, minced garlic and salt. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the ingredients are well blended and the pesto is the consistency you would like. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to brighten the pesto and help keep it from turning dark in color.

  4. When the pasta has finished cooking, add it to a large sauté pan along with the basil pesto and 1/4 cup pasta water. Toss on medium-high heat until the pasta is fully coated in the pesto sauce. Add more pasta water as needed.

  5. To plate, spread about 1/2 cup of the marinara onto the bottom of each dish. Using pasta tongs, place the pesto spaghetti on top of the marinara. Top with a large dollop of ricotta. Sprinkle with crushed red chili flakes, grated Parmigiano and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.


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