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Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce - A Family Feast

Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce

The trick to mastering any pasta and sauce dish is timing them so they are ready at the same time. The pasta takes about 10 minutes or so and the sauce about the same. So time your cooking accordingly! As soon as you place the pasta in the water, you should be melting the butter in the pan to make the sauce.

Yield: 4 servings 1x
Prep: 10 minsCook: 20 minsTotal: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 pound cavatappi or cellentani pasta
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 ounces butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 ounces flour
  • Few grates of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup pesto (see recipe here)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, as garnish


  1. Place a medium to large pot of water on for the pasta. Cook pasta according to the package directions but make it still a little bit chewy so it can cook further in the sauce. Do not drain water.
  2. Heat milk in microwave until hot but not scalded.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter and add flour. Lower heat to medium low and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for four or five minutes or until the raw flour smell is gone.
  4. Add hot milk one third at a time using a whisk to incorporate. Once all the milk is in, add nutmeg, dry mustard, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and all of the pesto. Heat the mixture to medium and using a strainer or spider, place pasta into sauce along with ½ cup of pasta water and heat. If mixture is too thick, add more pasta water. If too thin, cook until the pasta absorbs some liquid.
  5. Once the dish is the perfect consistency, serve with grated Parmesan cheese over each portion.

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