Light Lemon Pesto Pasta

Light Lemon Pesto Pasta

Baking Nana 691

"Light, yet full of flavor, this pesto is perfect tossed with hot spaghetti for a quick dinner. It is also excellent as a pizza sauce or smeared on hot French bread. It freezes well to preserve the bounty of summer basil."

Ingredients 30 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 465 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 6 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 465 kcal
  • 23%
  • Fat:
  • 17.2 g
  • 26%
  • Carbs:
  • 60.2g
  • 19%
  • Protein:
  • 18 g
  • 36%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 20 mg
  • 7%
  • Sodium:
  • 337 mg
  • 13%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti at a boil until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes; drain. Transfer spaghetti to a large bowl.
  2. Put cubed Romano cheese in the bowl of a food processor; process until coarsely grated, about 30 seconds. Put garlic into the food processor and process until the cheese and garlic are combined. Add spinach, basil, walnuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt; process until the mixture comes together into a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  3. With food processor running, drizzle olive oil into the mixture. Continue processing until the oil is integrated smoothly.
  4. Pour sauce over spaghetti and toss to coat.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • If you have an abundance of basil, this can be made with 3 cups of loosely packed basil.
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Reviews 15

  1. 18 Ratings

Baking Nana

Thanks so much AR for correcting the amount of lemon juice! You guys rock! My submitted recipe called for 1/4 cup lemon juice- I let AR know about it an they corrected the recipe! I recommend tossing the pesto with hot pasta so the cheese sort of melts and coats each strand. You might want to reserve a ladle or two of hot pasta water so you can add a little while tossing if you want a saucier dish.


Just loved this recipe. I used Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and capellini as the pasta. After mixing the pesto with the pasta in the pasta pot I added additional grated Parmigiano and mozzarella. Then replaced the lid and allowed the cheese to soften. Will be making again. Thank you Baking Nana for this recipe.


I am surprised that we didn't like this more. My family is all over pesto and garlic. For some reason the garlic overpowered our dish- to the point it was spicy, really spicy. And we could hardly taste the lemon. I made this exactly as baking nana suggested. No substitutions. I am not sure what happened but this isn't for us.- update!! Just had the leftovers and this was DELISH.