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Healthy Meal Ideas: Vegan Pesto Pasta

Vegan Pesto pasta with mushrooms, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and paprika

I am not vegan. However, I prefer this vegan version of pesto pasta. It tastes fantastic and is packed with good nutrition.

An important point with pesto is that you shouldn’t cook it. I make only as much as I need for the particular meal and add it to the just-cooked pasta.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 servings

For the Pesto

  • 1 cup basil leaves (stems and flowers removed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup plain cashews
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • Salt

For the Pasta

  • Cooked pasta of your choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 7 pieces of olives, deseeded and sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp jalapeño or paprika slices (optional, if you like some heat)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Truffle seasoning (optional)

Method:

  • For the pesto, add everything to the mixer and blend. The cold water prevents the pesto from browning.
  • Cook your pasta according to box instructions and keep aside. I only add salt to the cooking water, no oil. Keep a few spoonfuls of pasta water after draining out the rest. You can add this in the final serving stage if the sauce is too dry.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions and garlic on medium to high heat till they turn soft.
  • Add the sun-dried tomatoes as well.
  • Now add the mushrooms and cook for 2 min on high heat, continuing to stir, so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add in the seasoning and the olives and paprika or jalapeño if using. Switch off the heat in 30 seconds.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix in the cooked pasta, the mushrooms, the pesto, and the nutritional yeast.
  • Serve hot.

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