Pasta with Lemon, Basil and Olive Pesto


Pasta with Olive 5


I do not have a name for this pasta. It was put this together very quickly for dinner on Sunday evening and we loved it much.



I am sharing the recipe without exact amounts. The chemistry of fresh, sweet basil, garlic and olive oil creates the best kitchen aromatics ever. It smells of summer, sunshine and balmy breeze, maybe from the Mediterranean blues, though I have never been to that blissful place.


Pasta with Olive 2

I so want to be. Someday…


The herbs in my yard are still very tiny. But we had enough basil for tonight’s dinner. T takes care of the patch and waters them. It is a beautiful mingle of fragrance that fills the air when we sit out.



I had not planned to post this at all. But after I posted some photos in the Facebook page, I got messages asking me to post it. So here it is with some not so styled photographs as I had to take one of our dinner plates to shoot.


Pasta with Olive 6 with Text



Pasta with Lemon, Basil and Olive Pesto

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  1. 8 oz pasta or as much as you want, any kind you want (I used Fetuccine, but would have preferred Angel Hair)
  2. 1.5 – 2 cups packed fresh sweet Italian Basil + more for garnish
  3. 4-6 large cloves of garlic (about 1/6 cup)
  4. 2-4 tablespoon parmesan, use almond flour or pine nuts
  5. 6-8 oz olives – any kind you want, halved or sliced
  6. 1 pint organic sweet cherry tomatoes
  7. 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  8. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  9. crushed pepper
  10. freshly ground black pepper
  11. sea salt to taste
  12. a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil



(do keep in mind that all proportions here are approximate and you can change anything you want, in any way you want. Add more or less of ingredients or add anything else you think you would like with this. Personally I think some garlic grilled shrimp would work really well with the flavors going on here).

Combine basil, garlic, parmesan, about 10-15 olives, lemon zest, sea salt (some olives might be already salted, so be careful with the salt), about 1/4 cup olive oil ย and pound it to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle. Or you may use the food processor to coarsely process it it. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil. Add a tiny bit of salt and oil. Add the pasta and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and wash them in cold water to prevent them from sticking.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper and add the tomatoes. Cook on high heat until they start to brown and blister. The tomatoes will burst in oil spitting out the seeds, so be careful. After most of the tomatoes blister, reduce heat and cover the pan. Let it cook for about 4-6 minutes or until most of the tomatoes have pop opened and got sort of mushy.

Add the rest of the sliced olives; increase the heat and cook for a minutes while tossing the olives with tomatoes. Add the coarse basil, garlic, olive mix and lemon juice and switch off the heat. Add the pasta and toss well. Adjust salt and pepper. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil if you wish and add more fresh torn basil.

Serve with crushed red pepper if you want.


Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking Time: less than 30 minutes

Difficulty Level: Very easy

Serves: 4


Pasta with Olive 3

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14 comments to Pasta with Lemon, Basil and Olive Pesto

  • A delicious combination and tasty dish! Wonderfully summery…



  • Loved this dish Soma!! Beautifully prepared ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bozzie

    Dish looks great, sorry thought this was a curry recipe site !! Hence the name “eCurry”

    It did start off as that ๐Ÿ™‚ but it is more of my everyday journey now! Indian cuisine which I grew up with and more…

  • Cherry tomatoes and olive gives nice flavors.. Looks yummy

  • Wow.. this looks super tasty and super easy too… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gaurav

    Made this for dinner.turned out to be very good. Thanks

    Thank you so much for trying it out!

  • I love this and will be making this soon. Pasta is a great quick dish but I have lost the creativity. This will bring it back. Beautiful, summery flavors.

  • Dennis

    I made this last night with angel hair pasta and other than the olives and pasta everything came out of my garden. I had a zucchini from the garden so I spiraled and added it. It was so good and I ate almost all of it by myself. I will probably make it again tonight. Thank you!

  • Looks so delicious and tempting.. Lovely photographs as always! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Such a beautiful and simple recipe – I love how it all comes together. I’ve been dreaming about pesto this entire week and, now that I’ve seen this post, it must be made tomorrow for dinner!

  • Soma, I’ve also been on a pasta spree for the past 2 weeks during which my husband has been visiting his motherland! Try making pasta at home: itโ€™s so easy and soooo lovely! Itโ€™s much richer and softer than ready pasta. In fact, I think itโ€™s addictive!

    You pictures are nice, styled or not! Looks great to me.

  • lil' chef

    looks fantastic

  • efe

    This was the single most delicious dish i’ve had in 2015. And i am not exaggerating. I did not have crushed peppers at hand so i omitted that out. Still tasted amazing. Definitely gonna cook it again soon.

    Thank you!!!

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