Best Basil PESTO and Squid PASTA

Best Basil PESTO and Squid PASTA

A recipe that combines the famous basil pesto sauce and baby squids.

If you think pesto and squid sauce is a risky combination, we’ll change your mind.

How do you cook the pesto and squid pasta recipe?

Recipe is very simple and quick: just prepare basil pesto in the blender and in the meantime cook baby squid in a pan: when pasta will be cooked sauce will ready too.

Pasta with basil pesto and baby squid is an original recipe with winning mix of flavors: a slight hint of the sea combined with homemade creamy pesto with an intense basil scent.

Simple and quick, very appetizing and inviting.

I suggest to use long pasta such as spaghetti: sauce mixes better.

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  • DifficultyVery easy
  • CostMedium
  • Preparation time10 Minutes
  • Cooking time10 Minutes
  • Serving4
  • CuisineItalian


For Pasta

3/4 lb pasta
1/2 lb squid (baby)
parsley (1 sprig)
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
q.s. salt

For basil pesto sauce

0.7 oz basil (about 50 g)
2.7 oz extra-virgin olive oil (about 80 ml)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt (about 5 g)
1.7 oz pecorino cheese (about 50 g)
0.5 oz pine nut (about 15 g)
2.5 oz parmesan cheese (about 70 g)
568,56 Kcal
calories per serving
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  • Power 568,56 (Kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 26,54 (g) of which sugars 0,95 (g)
  • Proteins 20,35 (g)
  • Fat 43,80 (g) of which saturated 10,75 (g)of which unsaturated 4,62 (g)
  • Fibers 1,86 (g)
  • Sodium 1.834,68 (mg)

Indicative values for a portion of 150 g processed in an automated way starting from the nutritional information available on the CREA* and FoodData Central** databases. It is not food and / or nutritional advice.

* CREATES Food and Nutrition Research Center: ** U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019.




Step 1 – Baby Squid

Take baby squid and remove tentacles from head with a knife. In a pan put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and fry with chopped parsley and garlic. After 2 minutes, add baby squid and cook for a few moments. Remember: squid must be cooked very little (2 minutes maximum) or very much (40 minutes) otherwise they become tough and gummy. Adjust salt then turn off the stove and set aside. Meanwhile, bring plenty of salted water to the boil in a saucepan.

Step 2 – Basil Pesto

Clean basil leaves with a damp cloth and then dry them completely with a clean cloth.

Put peeled garlic in the mixer with a few grains of coarse salt and chop it until you get a creamy mixture. Add basil leaves, very little coarse salt and operate the mixer again for a few seconds. Finally add pine nuts, parmesan, pecorino and oil slowly and operate the mixer intermittently (no more than 30 seconds at a time otherwise the basil will heat up). You must obtain a creamy and homogeneous sauce (it will take at most 2 minutes). Set the basil pesto aside.

3 Step – Assembly

Cook pasta al dente (keep 1 ladle of the cooking water). Pour pasta directly into the pan with baby squid, add ½ ladle of the pasta cooking water and finish cooking by sautéing in the pan. When ready, turn off the heat, add basil pesto, 1 tablespoon of pasta cooking water and mix the ingredients. Serve pasta with Basil PESTO and Baby Squid immediately.

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Consume pasta with basil pesto and baby squid right away. You can store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day in an airtight container. You cannot freeze the ready dish, but you can prepare squid or pesto sauce in advance and freeze them separately: they will keep for a maximum of 1 month.

To use frozen basil pesto you must bring it to room temperature (4/5 hours). Squids, on the other hand, only defrost in 2 hours.


BABY SQUID: I used fresh squid but you can also use frozen. You can replace baby squid with shelled prawns.

PASTA: I used spaghetti but gnocchi or short pasta are also a great alternative.

4.9 / 5
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