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Classic Italian Basil Pesto Pasta (Vegan)

Classic Italian Basil Pesto Pasta (Vegan)

Light, flavorful, and aromatic – Basil Pesto Pasta. It is made with my flavourful hand-pounded basil pesto. Oh, I like the traditional way of making this pesto. You don’t get that same flavor, aroma, and texture when you make it in the mixer grinder. This meal is very quick and easy to make and gets ready in just 15-20 minutes. That means you don’t need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing a party meal at home. Yes! This recipe feels like a party on a weekday.

Make it over lunch, brunch, or dinner. Throw in some veggies for some extra nutrition and crunch. You can also try our tomato pesto pasta which I made using homemade sun-dried tomato pesto, and mushroom sauce pasta (vegan).

Story Time

I haven’t tried basil pesto for a very long time. Jatin was a fan of pesto pasta and used to keep telling me to make this recipe. And he wanted to make the pesto the traditional way – using a mortar pestle. I always thought that it is too much work and I was not very sure about the taste. So I procrastinated. I delayed so much that one day Jatin made it. I will not lie but the aroma of the pesto in the kitchen was to die for. It was making me high on fragrance 😀

After tasting I gave my verdict – It is Delicious! Since pine nuts were not very easily available and were quite expensive too, one day I thought to make it using cashews – that’s my favorite nut of all. I made it vegan using cashews and nutritional yeast. This time Jatin was skeptical about the taste but after having just one bite, he gave his verdict – It is Delicious! Since then, we make pesto at home and use it as a dip, sandwich spread, salad dressing or just to make some quick pasta.

If you don’t have time, watch the video instead and if you enjoy it, please Subscribe to our Youtube channel too.

How to make pesto?

There are two ways to pesto at home.

  1. Using Mortar Pestle – hand pound everything till they form a coarse mixture. This is the traditional way of making pesto. It makes the pesto more aromatic and flavorful. It is time-consuming and needs some elbow grease. But trust me, it is more fun to make it since you can experience the aroma as you keep adding each ingredient.
  2. Using Mixer Grinder – This is the modern way of making pesto at home. It is a much simpler and quicker way to make it. If you have to make a big batch of pesto to feed the entire family, this is the method to go to. You may need to add some water or milk to grind everything well.

Easy Swaps

  1. Cashew: Substitute cashews with pine nuts, almonds, or pistachios.
  2. Nutritional Yeast: Use grated parmesan cheese instead.
  3. Pasta: Use any pasta of choice and boil them as per the packet instructions.
  4. Veggies: Add any vegetable like mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, aubergine, onion, cherry tomatoes, etc.

Is this recipe Vegan?

Yes. This basil pesto pasta recipe is totally plant-based and vegan. It doesn’t have any cheese to it. Instead of cheese, I added cashew and nutritional yeast to the pesto recipe. These ingredients add a nice cheesy flavor to the pesto.

More vegan recipes on the website: Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins, Vegan Dum Biryani, Kung Pao Tofu.

Basil Pesto Pasta

How to cook Pasta?

Pasta is easy to cook but if you won’t pay attention then it is very easy to ruin it. Overcooking makes it soggy and mushy and it doesn’t taste good. Follow the below-mentioned tips to cook pasta just perfectly:

  1. Cook it as per the packet instructions.
  2. Take a large pan to boil pasta. Small pans overcrowd the pasta and make them sticky and mushy.
  3. Add ONLY SALT in water to boil pasta. NO OIL is needed.
  4. Add pasta only when water starts to boil.
  5. Keep stirring in between to prevent them from sticking with each other.
  6. Pasta takes around 10 – 12 minutes to cook. Keep an eye and take a bite of it to see if they are cooked. Boil only until they are just cooked. Then remove from the flame and drain off the water.

How to store Basil Pesto?

You can make a big batch of basil pesto and refrigerate it for up to 5 to 7 days.

If you want to store it for a longer time, then put it in the freezer. It can last for more than a month. Whenever you want to make a tomato pesto pasta recipe, take out the pesto from the freezer well in advance to thaw well, or else, put the jar in hot water and de-freeze the pesto.

How to use Basil Pesto?

You can use homemade pesto to make pasta, salads, and sandwiches, or you can even eat it as a dip with crackers or bread. It tastes very good with soft and moist ladi pav (dinner rolls or milk bread).

More recipes to try

  1. Vietnamese Summer Rolls
  2. Non-Fried Moong Dal Falafels
  3. Street-style Chowmin

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this Italian treat at home. It is perfect for lunch, brunch, or dinner. If you try this recipe & like it too, please share the photo of your creation on Instagram and tag us @thefearlesscooking. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Get Free cookbook artwork
Finally, it is here! ✌🏽
Book Launch 🍾 3rd March.

Get a copy of my new book "Fall in Love with Salads" and start your 30-day salad challenge with some exciting salad recipe every day.

Classic Italian Basil Pesto Pasta (Vegan)

Aromatic. Flavourful. Vegan.

This vegan basil pesto pasta recipe is something that you must not miss at all. It is not just quick and easy but it is extremely aromatic and flavourful. There is something about fresh basil leaves that make you fly high :)

Do try it today for lunch or dinner. 

2

Servings

15 min

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

30 min

Total Time


Ingredients

Basil Pesto

Pasta (serves 1)

Steps

Basil Pesto
  1. In a mortar pestle, add garlic and some salt. Hand pound and crush it well. Salt helps in releasing the juice and crushing it well. 
  2. Add fresh basil leaves and crush them into a coarse mixture.
  3. Then add cashews and crush everything well. Crush till it forms a coarse paste.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients - olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Mix well.
  5. Adjust the ingredients as per your taste.
  6. Store it in an air-tight container and add a few spoons of olive oil on top to prevent oxidization.
Prepare Pasta
  1. Boil pasta as per the packet instructions. Drain off the water and keep it aside. 
  2. Keep some pasta water, if you want to add it to the pasta.
  3. In a pan, heat some oil. 
  4. Once the oil is heated, add mushrooms and saute till slightly brown and cooked. Cook on high flame and keep stirring in between else they may burn. 
  5. Add Pasta and mix everything well. Switch off the flame. 
  6. Add pesto and mixed bell pepper. Mix well and cover for 2 minutes. 
  7. Add a few spoons of pasta water, if needed to mix well.
Serving Suggestion
  1. Finish it off with a few basil leaves on top. Sprinkle some nutritional yeast. You can even place some sliced olives. 
  2. Serve it with some toasted baguette. 

FAQs

How to cook Pasta?
+
Pasta is easy to cook but if you won’t pay attention then it is very easy to ruin it. Overcooking makes it soggy and mushy and it doesn’t taste good. Follow the below-mentioned tips to cook pasta just perfectly:
  1. Cook it as per the packet instructions.
  2. Take a large pan to boil pasta. Small pans overcrowd the pasta and make them sticky and mushy.
  3. Add ONLY SALT in water to boil pasta. NO OIL is needed.
  4. Add pasta only when water starts to boil.
  5. Keep stirring in between to prevent them from sticking with each other.
  6. Pasta takes around 10 – 12 minutes to cook. Keep an eye and take a bite of it to see if they are cooked. Boil only until they are just cooked. Then remove from the flame and drain off the water.

Is Pasta healthy to eat?
+

Anything is unhealthy, if not consumed in moderation. Pasta is made of whole grains like wheat, durum wheat semolina, lentils, or millets. It is a part of a healthy diet. But apart from the type of pasta you choose, the toppings also play an important role. Include some veggies like broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, etc to add some crunch and nutrition to your pasta. Try and use homemade sauces as much as you can because there is no match of homemade food when it comes to health and nutrition.


What do you eat with Pesto?
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You can eat pesto in many creative ways:

  1. Make pasta
  2. Use in salads
  3. Make sandwiches or just use them as a spread on bread.
  4. Soups
  5. As a dip for crackers
  6. Add in roasted veggies

How long does pesto last in the refrigerator?
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Homemade pesto can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 7 to 10 days. If you want to store it for a much longer time, keep it in the freezer.


What is tomato paste?
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Tomato paste is a highly concentrated paste of tomatoes. It is prepared by cooking tomatoes for a long time till they reduce their moisture and are transformed into a paste. It adds a burst of umami flavor to the recipes like pesto, lasagna, curries, red Thai curry, etc.

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