Vegetarian Pesto Pasta | Rigatoni Pasta Recipe
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • Rigatoni pasta – 250 gms
  • Basil leaves – 2 cups, packed
  • Garlic – 4 + 2 cloves
  • Pine nuts – 1 cup
  • Extra virgin olive oil – ¾ th cup
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Cheddar cheese – 100 gms
  • Chicken breast - 2
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Basil Pesto
  1. In a food processor or chopper, add the basil leaves, pine nuts, 4 garlic cloves, salt and lemon juice. Process it for half a minute.
  2. Now with the processor on, drizzle olive oil through the feed tube. The pesto will turn thick and emulsified. Process until all the nuts and basil leaves have turned into a thick paste. Set aside.
Pasta Recipe
  1. Boil the rigatoni pasta in generously seasoned boiling water as per the packer instruction. Retain some of the pasta boiling water and drain out the rest. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the boiled pasta to prevent them from drying.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or saute pan with high sides. Crush and add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and stir so that garlic doesn't burn.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and fry on medium heat until brown and cooked through.
  5. Add in the boiled rigatoni and couple of spoons of reserved pasta water to loosen things.
  6. Add the basil pesto and stir well to coat everything with the bright green pesto.
  7. When the pasta has turned dry, transfer it to a baking/microwavable dish or and spread evenly.
  8. Grate all the cheddar cheese over the pasta covering the top fully. Now either you can bake this in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 15 to 20 minutes or microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese melts.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil and serve hot.
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at