This simple Pesto Pasta recipe with sun dried tomatoes and basil pesto is outrageously good and so easy to make with just 4 ingredients and 15 minutes!

black plate with pesto pasta and fork twirled in pasta

I love quick and easy meal that doesn’t taste like one – especially when I can customize it with ingredients I have on hand. This dish is all that, plus flavored with the bold flavor of fresh, herby basil pesto, sweet-tangy sun dried tomatoes and of course plenty of cheese.

It takes full advantage of the best of summer herb flavors. Whether you’re using homemade pesto or store bought, having this easy, comfort recipe is like money in the bank.

black plate of pasta garnished with bail and buratta

With the lazy days of summer upon us – not to mention a whole ‘new norm’ these days, I’m keeping meals as simple as possible. Four ingredients. Less than 20 minutes with the taste of a meal that takes much longer to make.  

What’s in this Pesto Pasta Recipe?

  1. pasta (any kind you have on hand)
  2. basil pesto (homemade or store bought)
  3. sun dried tomatoes in olive oil (cut in strips)
  4. fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional: burrata)

These are your 4 ingredients to make this recipe – I didn’t include salt, pepper or reserved pasta water and if you happen to have basil growing, feel free to slice up a few leaves and add them to the finished dish as well.

How do I make pesto Pasta?

Bring a pot of water to a boil then give it a generous pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook per package directions for al dente.

Before you drain the pasta, ladle out about 1/2 cup of pasta water and set it aside. You probably won’t use it all, but once you drain, the pasta water is gone.

Transfer the drained pasta to the pot, add the pesto, sun dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup of pasta water then toss to completely coat. If your sauce seems dry, add a couple more tablespoons of pasta water but don’t overdo the water.

Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top (optional burrata) then serve right away with some good crusty bread and extra cheese on the table. 

what can I customize this recipe with?

  • buratta
  • fresh tomatoes
  • mozzarella balls
  • parmesan cheese
  • asparagus spears (blanch first) 
  • leftover chicken
  • shrimp (can cook right in the sauce)

how to make homemade pesto:

There is some really good quality pesto in stores these days, but if you opt to make your own (especially if you’re growing basil!) here’s a link to make my favorite basil pesto.

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

hungry for more pasta recipes?

Pasta Alla Vodka

3 Cheese Baked Mostaccioli

Sausage Rigatoni

Enjoy!

pinterest pin showing pesto pasta with fork twirling

If you tried this Pesto Pasta recipe or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!

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black plate with pesto pasta and fork twirled in pasta

Pesto Pasta Recipe

20 minute, 4 ingredient Pesto Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and homemade OR store bought pesto.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces pasta any kind
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto homemade OR store bought
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes sliced into strips
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (+ optional: burrata)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • reserved pasta water

Instructions
 

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil then season the water with salt. Add the pasta and cook per package directions for al dente.
  • Before you drain the pasta, ladle out about 1/2 cup of pasta water and set it aside. 
  • Transfer the drained pasta to the pot, add the pesto, sun dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup of pasta water then toss to completely coat. If your sauce seems dry, add a couple more tablespoons of pasta water but don’t overdo the water.
  • Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top (optional: burrata) then serve right away with some good crusty bread and extra cheese at the table. 
Keyword pesto pasta, 30 minute meals, pasta, pesto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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11 Comments

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  2. Hello,

    Are you adding in the tomatoes at the same time as the pesto?…This recipe sounds great and I’m going to try it this evening…I want something with great flavor and quick to make.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Jeff – thanks so much for the extra set of eyes on this – I will update the post! Yes – add the sun dried tomatoes at the same time as the pesto. They don’t need to cook – just warm. I hope you enjoy the recipe. – Bernie

  3. This dish is really easy to prepare, and it’s always a hit in my house! I used Barilla’s Rustic Pesto for a hint of garlic. I lightly sautéed it on low heat for 30 seconds before adding the pasta and tomatoes to emphasize the pesto flavor. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!