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Vegan Pesto

I think summer is the perfect time for pesto. The ingredients are fresh and the flavor just screams summer. That being said, I have had a lot of really awful pesto. My top complaints would be be too rich, too much garlic and a pasty texture. 

I have been making pesto for years and wanted to share my recipe as I think it solves all of these issues. The basic recipe was from a friend in Genoa, which is home to the best pesto I have ever eaten. Give it a go and I think you will agree.



This will make enough pesto to serve with one pound of pasta. Personally  I like to serve this with gemelli pasta, which can be found in most grocery stores. Barilla makes a good one, and you could substitute fusilli or orechiette, however I would not suggest anything with holes or tubes as it can overwhelm the pasta.

1 cup fresh Basil leaves, firmly packed.

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp Walnuts
1 Tbsp Pine Nuts
1 Tbsp Go Veggie Parmesan Cheese substitute or freshly grated Romano cheese.
1 tsp Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Start the water for your pasta  Strip the fresh basil leaves from the stems and put just the leaves into a measuring cup and pack firmly. Once it is filled, add the basil to a food processor. Add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. 


Start cooking the pasta and just before it is ready, skim off about 1/4 cup of the boiling pasta water and set it aside. Then strain the pasta and add the pesto and mix, adding the reserved water as needed to create a creamy consistency. Add additional cheese as desired and serve immediately.


Note; Some people like to serve pesto as a cold pasta side dish, so if you want to do this, you will need to cool the pasta in an ice water bath after cooking, otherwise it will turn to mush. Then when  it is cool you can add the pesto and pasta water and mix, then pop it in the refrigerator.

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