4 February 2015

Vegan Basil Pesto

Makes: ~1 cup
Time: 15 mins

Vegan Basil Pesto & Pasta

I started back at uni yesterday and I'm already feeling extremely optimistic about this term, I think my favourite unit out of the 3 this semester will be principles of food and nutrition, this focuses on macro/micro nutrients as well as the recent changes in the structure of food and how this affects nutritional value. I have only had one lecture in this topic so far & am already looking forward to the next, however, with this unit also comes weekly lab reports which account for 50% of our grade and I'm not looking forward to writing a 2000 word lab report every week along with all the work I have to complete for the other units, I'm going to be extremely busy to say the least! Hopefully this will inspire me to manage my time more efficiently and I will still be able to have a bit of fun! We also have a couple of new lecturers this term, who so far seem to be really enthusiastic about their topic and completely organised in getting us the resources we need prior to the lecture, which should make my life a lot easier. 

Pesto Ingredients

Pesto is definitely one of my favourite sauces for pasta, its creamy & herby, whats not to like? Over the years I've made countless amounts of pesto with different combinations of nuts and herbs, but there has always been that slightly bitter flavour caused by the garlic which I was never keen on, this pesto used roasted garlic and a variety of nuts for extra creaminess and no bitter, hot flavour of raw garlic which I have never been a fan of. This pesto is definitely the best I've ever made & can be thrown together in 15 minutes, served up with some wholegrain pasta & veggies of your choice - I would recommend fresh baby plum tomatoes and sweetcorn. I haven't tested out how long this would last in the fridge, but if you can resist eating it all at once I would assume 2-3 days in an air tight container after making. I used cashew nuts as well as some chopped mixed nuts I had in the cupboard for extra flavour, feel free to use the more traditional pine nuts or any other nut of your choice for this recipe though. 

You'll need:

  • Baking tray
  • Blender/ food processor
  • Measuring cup
  • Spatula
  • Glass jar, for storing


  • Large bunch of basil + stalks (the more the better)
  • 1/2 cup cashewnuts
  • 1/2 cup other nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • Juice, half lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 30-40g vegan cheese (optional)
  • Pinch salt & black pepper


  1. Spread the nuts and garlic on a baking tray and toast for 10 minutes at 200°C.
  2. Remove from the oven, peel the garlic and add all the ingredients to the food processor/blender, blitz until smooth and serve up immediately with pasta or store in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 

Vegan Basil Pesto & Pasta