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Let’s be honest here.

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

Pasta is a pretty beloved food by most, you can dress it up or you can dress it down.

Personally? I am a huge fan of dressing it down. Simple flavors are best and a little (ok a lot) of cheese is helpful too.

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

I am sure that, like a lot people, I pretty much grew up on noodles with butter and salt. Just noodles, butter and salt. It’s a meal that even now I find comfort in and is still totally delicious. However, I now prefer to add at least a little basil.ย In my years since my childhood I have become a basil freak. I am completely in love with the stuff.

My dad use to grow bush basil out the yazoo throughout the summer months and I loved heading outside to pick it for Friday Night Pasta. I love thinking back to memories like this, especially when summer is so close. I am beyond exited!

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

So basically, today I am going to tell you how to brown some butter, chop some basil and boil some pasta.

Pretty simple stuff, but a recipe I think everyone could use at one time or another.

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

The idea for leaving the pesto chunky came from this amazing book.ย If you are interested in cooking and crafting you should definitely look into this book. I personally love it.

Chunky pesto means no breaking out the food processor. And that makes me so happy. For some reason, I really hate using that appliance. Washing it – Ugh.

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

I added a little brown butter for an extra layer of flavor.

Plus, my mom says no pasta is complete without at least a little salt and butter.

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

Can’t really argue that.

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

Oh, and pasta on Thursday just feels right.

Especially when it is so quick and easy to prepare. Quick and easyย makes things so much better.

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 261 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan add the butter and melt over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam, and froth, and then begin to brown along the bottom. Whisk the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, finely chop the basil and add it to a medium size bowl. Chop the pine nuts and finely mince or grate the garlic, add them to the bowl with the basil. Add the parmesan, olive oil and cooled brown butter (make sure to get all the brown bits out of the pan). Using a fork mix well and then sort of mash all the ingredients together with the fork. If desired add more olive oil until your desired consistency is reached.
  • Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain and immediately toss the hot pasta with the pesto. Serve hot or at room temp (I am all about hot pasta though!) with fresh cracked black pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper.


*The Chunk Basil Pesto was inspired by this amazing book: [Sweet Paul Eat and Make |]

20 Minute Brown Butter Chunky Basil Pesto Pasta |

Especially on a Thursday, when we are all dying for Friday.

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  1. I cannot wait to try this one! I love pesto and never even thought about using it like this. This looks incredible! My granddaughters absolutely LOVE pasta with a little fake healthy margarine on it LOL. Sometimes I think that is all they eat! They constantly ask for noodles! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  2. This looks super wonderful and I can’t wait to try it, however your ingredient list is missing the pasta. How much did you use?

      1. Thanks! Made it tonight – it was a wonderful way to change up my old tried and true favorite meal of buttered noodles caked in parmesan cheese ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This kick started my new Friday night pasta tradition (great idea!) and was hands down the best pesto in the world. Ever. Sooo good!

  4. Brown Butter and Pesto in one pasta dish?? Heavenly!! 20 minutes is an added bonus. I know what’s for dinner this week!! My husband is going to be one happy guy!

  5. As much as I love obnoxiously overdressed, heavily accessorized food, I have a huge appreciation for the simple stuff, too! Especially simplified pasta. Like you, just noodles, cheese and melted butter or olive oil really does wonders. This basil pesto pasta looks phenom hot or cold.

    Aaaaand now I’m hungry.

  6. There’s nothing better than a dressed down pasta! The simpler the flavors the better it tastes! I love the idea of making a chunky pesto! I love basil and I’m planning to grow my own plant since we don’t get it that often here in supermarkets, which is a real shame! ๐Ÿ™ I love the addition of brown butter, that stuff is real GOLD! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Love the idea of cutting back on the labor and leaving the pesto chunky!

  8. I am super intrigued by this chunky pesto! I am also an un-fan of pulling out the food processor and washing it. Can’t wait to try this out!

  9. I love the simplicity of the preparation here. Plus browned butter makes everything better. : )

  10. This looks and sounds delicious! I love pesto, make it all the time, but always in a food processor. Never thought to do it this way – Must try it!

  11. Friday night pasta might have to become a thing in my household too, because wow! This looks fantastic! I always thought of brown butter as something only used in desserts, but I’m now seeing the error of my ways. Definitely excited that this pesto doesn’t require a food processor either – too much hassle!

  12. Lookit that pesto! The chunkier the better, I always say ๐Ÿ˜€ Beautiful and tasty as always!

  13. This pasta looks AH-MAZING! Anything with pesto has my name on it! Pinned!

  14. I could seriously eat that whole bowl! I get a weird reaction to pine nuts, it’s called pine nut mouth (I know it sounds funny), so I would use walnuts. We eat a lot of pasta in this house.

  15. Sometimes it is the simple things, I like how you took a family tradition and just elevated it a bit…

  16. Oh, gosh. All you have to say is “pesto pasta” and I’m sold. LOVE the addition of browned butter to this amazing-looking pasta. What a perfect weeknight meal! ๐Ÿ™‚ pinned!

  17. super impressed that you made dried spaghetti look so cool. I also love how you captured the steam coming off the draining noodles. How’d you do that?!

    1. Thank you so much!! You have to shoot backlight or to the side with dark background. Also a hight shutter speed in needed too.

  18. I had pastina before baby food (the joys of growing up Italian) and it’s been a love affair ever since…I like this recipe because you can eat it hot or room temp so it’s perfect when not everyone makes it to dinner at the same time. I just planted my basil plants so this recipe is in my future.

  19. Whether dressed up or down I always dig pasta! This one is fab ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. This recipe is simple yet profound! I am a total basil freak too. Last year I planted 24 basil plants and scary fact, it all got used!

    Pasta has won my heart over, especially when it’s raining here in the greater Niagara Falls area.

    and 20 minutes? stun me again!

  21. Love that this doesn’t have to be made with the food processor. This is a comfort food to me as well, nothing better than pasta!

    1. Tieghan – I made this pesto this afternoon … I had to – I couldn’t wait. It is sooo good – I can’t wait for dinner to make the whole pasta dish. I love that this can be made ahead of time, then when it’s time to eat, just boil up some water for the pasta! Quick and easy meal.

  22. I read 20 mins, brown butter, pesto and pasta and got really excited. These are all my fav flavours and I totally love dressing pasta down! I could curl up in those noodles and be one happy girl! Pinned!

  23. This dish is gorgeous. I remember eating pasta with parmesan cheese and butter growing up. Pasta is definitely still my favorite food and you’re right- some of the best recipes are the simplest. I hate washing the food processor too…why does it have to be like that?! So many partsssss!