Pesto as a Pasta Sauce

Pasta Sauces are essential especially when you have young kids.  Tho this sauce is so very green, kids will enjoy it cause it’s paired with pasta!

I love making pasta sauces I can FREEZE. It really comes in so handy especially on days I can’t be bothered to cook – I just whip out a container from the freezer, let it thaw and I KNOW that dinner is sorted.

So what’s the deal with pesto? Well first off, it helps if you have a food processor. That is essential to pulsing everything and bringing it in all together. You could use a blender but might not end up with the best results.

Now the cheese, yes parmesan is the way to go. You then might think ‘aiya then what do I do with the rest of the parmesan cheese’ – you make more pesto la! No, seriously, grated parmesan goes great as toppings on any pasta dish. You can also add grated parm into  scrambled eggs or omelettes for your kids.

Pine nuts. Ok – pine nuts are a bit ‘atas’. Meaning quite the pricey.  BUT there are subs like pumpkin seeds which are cheaper and other nuts too. I have ONLY ever tried making pesto with pine nuts tho.

When it’s time for lunch/dinner, boil your pasta, drain then add in the prepared pesto, Give a good stir and taste, if needed add bit more salt. Add in chopped bacon, chicken/turkey ham, leftover roast chicken etc. Or just air fry some nuggets for them. The choices are pretty big.

I usually add in ham or roast some chicken pieces (using my oven – very easy just one bottled spice needed) and serve together.

The pasta sauce might seem ‘little’ once it’s done. That’s because you only need to COAT the pasta with the sauce it’s not a sauce where the pasta is swimming in it. This portion is enough for 300-400g of pasta.

Did you try this recipe?

Please do let me know if you've tried it, by leaving a comment or tagging me on IG @thesuddencook.


A great sauce for pasta. Freezes so well. Can be used as a pizza base, in sandwiches, on grilled chicken/fish and more.
Servings 4


  • Food Processor


  • 1.5 cups sweet basil In supermarkets - they sell it in a pack. One pack is suitable for this recipe.
  • 2 garlic cloves choose small cloves
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese or 60g
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts Toast in oven for 5 mins @ 150C
  • 70 ml good quality olive oil


  • Put everything except olive oil in food processor and pulse.
  • While the processor is doing its thing, gradually add in the oil in a thin steady stream until well combined.
  • Open processor, with a spatula scrap down the sides and continue to pulse until texture is smooth.
  • Add in a good pinch of salt. Give one last pulse. DONE!


  1. Wash and dry the basil leaves in a salad spinner. Or just ensure leaves are not too wet.
  2. Be sure to toast the pine nuts. I do not preheat the oven.
  3. Don't use too much garlic or olive oil. All this can be overpowering.
  4. As pine nuts are pricey, there are alternatives. Pumpkin seeds is one of them BUT I've yet to try them. If you have subbed pine nuts for any other nuts with good results, please do let me know!
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1 year ago

Made for pizza bases with goats cheese and rocket! Makes a refreshing change from a boring tomato base! Going to make more next time so I can have it in a panini the next day too!

1 year ago

I love using pesto as a pasta sauce. Especially when you can make your own. Simple and delicious, just like food should be.

1 year ago

I usually purchase store bought pesto but I really wanted to try making it on my own. Thanks for posting this recipe! My pesto turned out great!

1 year ago

I loved how easy this is!! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

I’ve made a note of this recipe and stuck it on the fridge for the next pasta meal. Super easy and garlicky, just how I like it:))