Instead of drenching your pasta in tomato sauce, why not switch things up, and make this sun-dried tomato pesto pasta! The pesto is garlicky, has the delicious flavor of basil, and is made perfectly creamy with the help of cashews. Toss your favorite pasta in it, top it with sunflower seeds for crunch, cherry tomatoes for a burst of flavor, and spinach leaves to add some contrasting color. Yum!
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta [Vegan]
For the Pasta:
- A handful of sunflower or pine seeds
- 1 7-ounce package of your favorite pasta
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato pesto (recipe below)
- A handful of spinach or arugula leaves
- A good handful of cherry tomatoes
For the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto:
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil (use less if you use the oil from the tomatoes)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Red chili flakes (optional)
To Make the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto:
- Throw all the ingredients into a food processor or use a bowl and hand blender. If you don’t have any of those tools try to cut all the ingredients into very small pieces and try to mix and mash them together using a fork or heavy rolling pin.
To Make the Pasta:
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions.
- Dice the onion and fry it with a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
- While that’s cooking, put the seeds in a frying pan and fry without oil. They’ll only take a minute or two so don’t let them burn!
- Drain the cooked pasta then add it into the pan, mix in the pesto, spinach or arugula, and a good handful of diced cherry tomatoes.
- Add a few splashes of water if you want it a bit creamier.
- For serving add a couple more cherry tomatoes as a garnish, and sprinkle over the sunflower seeds.