This is the most delicious and child-friendly pesto ever, rich with a creamy subtle taste of the herbs, garlic and cream – you will fall in love with this. If you love cream, pasta and pesto, then here is the perfect dish for you, and fast to make too. Feel free to add some chopped sundried tomatoes, or even black olives for a stunning looking result. This dish is also great served to non-vegan guests, with my griddle pan fried eggplant steaklet (also very easy to make), and a crunchy salad. My 7 year old daughter asked for seconds, and that’s a great gauge since, believe it or not, she is a very picky eater. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes !
Serves 2 to 3 people
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PESTO
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup raw almonds (with skins)
2 tsp golden flaxseeds
4 Tbsp olive oil
Himalayan sea salt to taste
2 tsp nutritional yeast (available in the US from here, and in the UK from here)
flat parsley leaves, chopped, for garnishing
INGREDIENTS & METHOD FOR THE CREAM
1 cup raw whole cashews (pre-soak for a few hours – or rinse and use if you have a vitamix or equivalent high speed blender)
1 1/8th cups water
Process these until they resemble fresh cream
METHOD FOR THE PESTO SAUCE
- Place the basil and garlic in a food processor, and process until well broken down. Then add the nuts, and process again until all is very small. Add the remaining ingredients and process until you are left with a thick paste.
- Next, cook your pasta. Whilst it’s cooking, heat up your pesto in a large saucepan, and slowly stir in your cream, keeping the heat low – mix all the time whilst you do this. You should be left with a semi-thick creamy sauce – taste it for salt, then if it’s too thick, add a tiny bit of water. Cover it, and turn off the heat.
- Once your pasta is cooked al dente, place it on top of your sauce, re-heat the lot, and serve hot garnished with the chopped parsley.
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
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Do you think sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would work here as a substitute for the almonds and cashews? I’m allergic to tree nuts, and I’m so envious of all these beautifully creamy dishes made from soaked cashews. 🙁
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Thanks. Will try. You ought to know that the yeast stuff is available in a three-pack (again from Amazon) for £8-something.
That’s good value if you ask me Mike ! 🙂
Hi H, it’s worth a try, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for the pesto. For the cream, if you are not allergic to tofu, just process some tofu in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of a good cream, add a little soya milk or rice milk to thin it out initially – and, let me know how it all goes ! Enjoy ! 🙂
I made a cream sauce from your cook booked and to make the sauce I had to soak the cashews in water for at least two hours before processing them in water to make the cream sauce. But in this recipe, you don’t indicate that the cashews have to be soaked. Will the sauce work with either approach?
Hi Janet, yes we just added it into the recipe now (please see recipe). Hope you make and enjoy this ! Best your way in the meantime. Cheers. 🙂
Thanks, Miriam. It sounds yummy and I can hardly wait to make it! Best to you as well.
This sounds good but I love your other pesto recipe and make it frequently. It is the one that has spinach and arugula (rocket) in addition to basil and it stays green, which is great. Do you have any tips for keeping basil pesto green——or do you simply need to use it right away?
Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. Keeping pesto green is not difficult, all you need to do before storing it in a jar is pour olive oil on top of it. Here is a link to some more tips http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/625841 . This pesto is as good as the one you are talking about, but it tastes different as it is very, very creamy, and the creaminess mixed with the pesto itself makes for a very satisfying and flavoursome dish. Cheers your way ! 🙂
Hi Miriam, Just enjoying the Almond and Basil Pesto recipe from your book. Added some chilli oil and nutritional yeast too, and serve with pasta and ‘chicken’ pieces. Absolutely scrumptious!
So glad you made and enjoyed it Alice ! 🙂
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Hi Miriam, my partner and I are new to your blog. We made this dish tonight and it was fantastic. We squeezed some lime onto our dishes after serving and found it to be a nice addition. We’re glad to see that you have many recipes.
Hi there Gavin and welcome here. I am glad that you enjoyed this dish and hope you enjoy many more recipes from my blog. A little lime would have given it a great edge ! I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog ! Cheers. 🙂
This was amazing! Honestly. The olives added to the deliciousness. I added more salt (sea salt) and tomatoes as a garnish… LOVE LOVE.
So very glad you enjoyed it Alna, and I look forward to your future comments on my blog !
Just loved this dish, which we have just just enjoyed for dinner. I kept the recipe exact, and added some roasted roma tomatoes and steamed broccoli. I sprinkled Bellisimo on top for the ‘parmesan’ hit. Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe. I used my own organic basil and picked it just before processing, so the colour and flavour were exquisite.
Vickie well done for this. Next time send us a picture of the finished dish. I hope you try out my other recipes from here, if you are a pasta lover, you will find many other recipes you will enjoy ! 🙂
Its delicious, and even more delicious after it had cooled down a bit…will put a bit less garlic next time bc it took over a little bit but still amazing, thank you!
Hi there Nadia, so glad you made and enjoyed it ! Garlic can be quite powerful at times, and other times milder. I hope you enjoy the other dishes from my blog too ! Cheers. 🙂
Hi Miriam, is it possible to use ground almonds? I have raw almonds but I’m concerned about breaking the blade on my mini-blender (it might be okay). Would soaking them beforehand help? If so, for how long? Thanks
Silver I have not made this with almond cream before – almonds are and tend to be harder and denser nuts than cashews even if you pre-soak them. You can try, but hope your machine can take it. Let me know how it goes. Best !
Sorry I meant the almonds that go in the pesto. I pre-soaked them for a short time and the blender seemed to manage them fine. Only thing is my blender is tiny so the pesto cream ended up grainy in texture. I’ll blend it through again tomorrow. Might add some chilli as well 🙂
Sure Silver – don’t overburden your blender. I find that cashews are easier nuts to blend into creams or milk though – as such they are a softer nut, particularly when pre-soaked, far more so than almonds. Hope you enjoy this though ! 🙂
Once I blended it again (added a chilli too) it was perfect. I took it to a vegan potluck and everyone loved it. Thank you for the recipe.
p.s. I must invest in a larger blender asap!
So glad to hear dear Silver ! 🙂
Miriam! This is delicious! This is the second recipe I’ve tried and they’re both amazing. I’m so happy that I found your website.
Hi there Tommy, so glad you are enjoying my recipes. I’m aslo happy you found my site, and I look forward to your future comments on my blog ! 🙂
Hi Miriam — I am really keen to try this tomorrow night! Just wondering how many grams of pasta would be used for this amount of sauce? I like saucy pasta and was wondering if I should go ahead and double the recipe from the start. BTW, I love your book!
just made this so so simple to make, minimum tidy up and it is delicious! thank you 😀
Leanne Hi, thanks and so glad you enjoyed it ! 🙂
Angela Hi, this amount would make around 3-4 portions (ie 100grams of pasta per person). You can double the recipe if you wish, and spoon the extra pesto in a jar, cover with oil and refrigerate for use for another time. Must consume it within a few days though. 🙂
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