This creamy pesto sauce is remarkably rich for being vegan, and almost all the fat comes from the pinenuts (there’s no added oil, as there is in regular pesto). This is much better for my poor tummy that can’t cope with high fat pesto. It’s also very quick to make, so I start making mine after putting the pasta water on to boil. The first time I made this version of the sauce, I blended the basil along with the other ingredients, and although it tasted good, it was a very vivid green, surprising enough for Halloween! I think the little flecks of basil look good in the sauce, which is why I now add the basil after the other ingredients have been thoroughly blended.
As a last note: don’t try using the basil stems in this dish. I was just a little too pleased with my new Vitamix a few months ago, and tried making pesto using stems and all. It didn’t work. I couldn’t get the stems to blend up smoothly, and ended up throwing the whole lot on the compost heap. I was not a happy bunny!
This amount of sauce generously coats 8 oz of dried GF pasta.
1 cup pinenuts
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp chickpea or other light miso (optional)
20 large to medium, fresh basil leaves (no stems)
If you’re using this sauce for pasta, put the pasta on to boil, first.
Blend all ingredients (except basil) together with 1 cup of water in a blender until completely smooth.
Add the basil leaves, and blend until the sauce is pale green with flecks of basil.
Transfer to a saucepan (with cooked, drained, pasta, if using), and heat (stirring frequently) until thickened (~1 minute, if tossing with hot pasta).
Variation: Dice 2 medium sized tomatoes, and stir them into the sauce when thickening it. The fresh tomatoes are a nice counterpoint to the rich sauce.