Orecchiette Pasta with Almond Pesto

This pasta dish is almost no-cook. Really, the only cooking required is the boiling of the pasta. Once that's done, simply whip up a quick almond pesto and toss it with sweet cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese - mix in the orecchiette pasta, and dinner is ready! It's just as delicious warm as it is as cold.

This is a super easy weeknight pasta that can easily work for anything from family dinner, to a picnic or even a dinner party. Pair it with Giada's simple candied lemon and arugula salad, and voila!


Orecchiette Pasta with Almond Pesto



Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

8 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Orecchiette Pasta with Almond Pesto


  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided, plus more for the pasta water)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese (diced into 1/3 inch pieces)
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta


  1. Add the almonds to the top of a food processor. Pulse 5 or 6 times until finely chopped. Add the basil, olive oil and half of the salt. Puree until combined and almost smooth. Pour the pesto into a large bowl. Fold in the cheese, tomatoes and diced mozzarella and toss well to combine.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season liberally with salt. Add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a pasta spider, remove the pasta from the water and add directly to the bowl with the pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss everything together until evenly coated. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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3 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Jessica Claunts

    Absolutely delicious! Will need to scale back a little on the salt.

  • Author's avatar image
    Terri Headley

    Very good. I added chopped black olives and chopped roasted red peppers. It was a hit at the party!

  • Author's avatar image
    K Last

    So delicious! Substituted walnuts for almonds bc it was what I had on hand. So much better than store bought pesto!

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