Tagliatelle with Basil and Egg Yolk Recipe


Most people can agree that buying a tomato in the dead of winter is not usually a good idea. Not only for seasonal-eating reasons, but also for taste: it's simply not going to taste as good in January. But sometimes you just long for something bright, green, and fresh.

That's where this recipe from Jamie Oliver comes in, which relies on fresh basil. Though good local summer basil would have been ideal, it's pretty good year-round, especially pureed into a sauce.

The recipe is a nod to pesto but without pine nuts to thicken it. Instead, the recipe takes a cue from pasta carbonara, mixing an egg yolk into the base of pureed basil and Parmesan to give it a silky texture. Once it mixes in with a little pasta water, it becomes the creamiest pesto you've ever tasted. A squeeze of lemon rounds out the acidity and the result is a quick and satisfying pasta dish that's a little bit out of the norm.

Recipe Details

Tagliatelle with Basil and Egg Yolk Recipe

Active 10 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan

  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus a little juice to taste

  • 1 small bunch fresh basil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 3/4 pound tagliatelle pasta


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon zest.

  2. Place half the basil in a mortar and pestle (or a small food processor) and mash (or process) to a paste. Add it to the egg mixture. Roughly chop the rest of the basil and add it, too.

  3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

  4. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and add the basil-egg mixture. Toss well to combine, then add pasta cooking water little by little until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
298 Calories
13g Fat
33g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 298
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 133mg 44%
Sodium 863mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 148mg 11%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 91mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)