Ok so this isn’t really pesto pasta sauce but a no oil vegan version. It does taste pretty similar and is a lot more healthy.
- Approx 100g pine nuts (You do not need to use pine nuts you can use any nuts you fancy in fact next time I’m just using cashew nuts as they’re cheaper).
- Approx 100g cashew nuts.
- 3 bags of fresh basil.
- 2 garlic cloves.
- Can of butter beans.
- Grab a handful of spinach for a nice green colour.
- 3 tbsp nooch.
Lightly toast the nuts in a dry pan.
Just to warm the oils up. Then blend, it’s a pain but you’ll have to keep giving it a mix and scraping sides. That is if you have a blender like mine. Your aim is to get the nuts as much like nut butter as you can. I didnt get mine totally smooth but i dont think that matters too much. Add some of the bean juice to help smooth it out but only a tbsp at a time.
Just throw the rest of the ingredients in once that is done. Periodically open the blender to stir and scrap the sides get it all mixed and blended. Add the bean juice sparingly as not to make the consistency watery. I prefer a thick smooth paste.
Once it’s all blended store in a clean air tight pot. I pour boiling hot water over storage pots and leave them to soak a bit before putting anything in them. I’m not sure how this bean pesto will stand up to your normal oil type pesto in terms of taste comparison and how long it will last but it’s a good healthy version and I’ve had mine for 2 weeks and it’s still going and pretty fresh.
I added 3 or 4 heaped tbsp to my pasta that night.
I cooked my pasta for 8 mins and then added broccoli, edamame beans and chickpeas to the pot (quick easy way to use less water and pots, plus I like to think the pasta soaks up the veggie goodness) Continue to cook for 3/4 minutes. Drain and add enough of the pesto to get a good coating through the pasta.
It’s not meant to be as abundant as say a bolognese sauce. The basil is quite powerful so you wouldn’t want that anyway.
It is more of a coating to flavour the dish and add a bit of moisture.
You can always add a few tbsp of the pasta water if your prefer. I had it with about 4 tbsp of pesto and used a bit of pasta water.
Another great use for this pesto is kids dinners. Pasta and broccoli cooked as before. Sometimes I add tofu. My son loves it, hes quite a lazy eater, as most kids are, so soft pasta and tofu is great for him. Less time eating is more time playing. Plus Tofu is a great healthy alternative even if your not vegan. Please do not believe the hype around gmo soy or soy in general. Besides which animals are fed gmo soy (and gmo corn) so your eating it either way you look at it.