February 11, 2021

Pasta au Basilic

Penne Pasta with Fresh Basil and Shaved Parmesean

Pasta au Basilic

Simple pasta with basil is a typical dish in the summertime in France. When you're looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, this simple pasta with basil is perfect. I'll share two methods of preparation that will be sure to please and impress everyone.  You can plant basil in your yard, or keep a potted plant in the kitchen so the basil is always available when needed.  You can serve this with a salad, then grilled meats & fruit for dessert to complete the meal. This basil pasta is also a fantastic substitute for carryout pizza when you have a group of kids to feed.  I hope these ideas help spark creativity while saving money too.

  • Author: Caterina De Falco
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes



450-500 grams of bow tie or penne pasta ( see notes)

About 2 -3 cups of fresh basil

About a 1/2 cup to one cup of fresh parmesan

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt


1. Cook penne pasta al dente, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes less cooking time than the package directions. 

2. Chop fresh basil or use a min Cuisinart to chop it.  When I make this dish, I never measure the basil or cheese.  The quantities I share are guidelines, you can add more or less basil or cheese to your liking.  The basil is the star of the show, and in my opinion, you can't have too much basil.  

3. Toss the pasta with basil, olive oil, freshly grated parmesan, and sea salt. 


Use a vegetable peeler to add shavings of Parmesan for a lovely presentation.  

This dish is also good, even without olive oil. The key is to add enough basil.

You can skip the cheese or add cherry tomatoes for a fresh and light cold pasta salad.  Serving it cold or room temp is perfect for picnics or parties. Summer Pasta Recipe


In Italy, pasta is served either as a main dish or as a dish prior to the main dish of meat or fish.  This is called the "Primi Piatti," the first dish. 

The rule of thumb for serving sizes is 100 grams of dried pasta for the main dish and 25- 50 grams of dried pasta for the prime piatti.  

When I make this dish, I never measure the basil or cheese.  The qualities are guidelines, you can add more or less basil or cheese to your liking.  

Menu Ideas

Caesar Salad, Pasta au Basilic, and French Fruit Salad


A bowl of pasta with basil being served to the kids

Many recipes I share have guidelines rather than exact measurements since I often cook "au pif" as we say in France, meaning by feel.
Your intuition is the magic touch to make something amazing. So read between the lines and make it yours   Write to me anytime if you have questions.

Copyright 2019-2022, Return to the Table by Caterina De Falco, All Rights Reserved

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