Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oil-free vegan pesto with linguine

Oil-free vegan pesto :)
Am incredibly proud of this one! 
Up until a few nights ago, pesto in my mind was so dependent on the use of olive oil that i wouldn't dream of attempting it on the oil-free program... however, after buying a particularly lushy bunch of organic basil, the temptation to try pesto sans oil was too great... and i'm overjoyed to report that it not only worked but was a total taste sensation! It tasted creamy, rich and delicious, but didn't leave you with that overindulged, heavy oily feeling that real pesto can.


For Pesto:
1/2 C cashews, ground
1/2 C toasted pine nuts, ground
3 cloves sautéed garlic
1/2 massel imitation "chicken" stock cube
1/2 C soy milk
1 C water
1 bunch basil
2 handfuls arugula
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper

For Pasta:
1 packet linguine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 massel imitation "chicken" stock cube
1/3 C water
1 punnet button mushrooms, sliced
3 zucchini, peeled in ribbons
extra water, as needed

To serve:
2 tomatoes, diced
salt & pepper
fresh basil leaves

For pesto, in a blender combine the ground cashews and ground toasted pine nuts, the sautéed garlic, stock cube, soy milk, water, basil, arugula, lemon, salt & pepper. Blend to smooth and creamy.
For pasta, bring a big pot of salted water to the boil and cook linguine until al dente.
In a large wok, saute minced garlic with the 1/2 stock cube and water, then add mushrooms and when just cooked, throw in zucchini ribbons and the cooked linguine. 
Finally stir through the pesto sauce, adding water as needed to prevent it from sticking.
Serve piping hot garnished with the fresh diced tomatoes, salt and pepper and fresh basil leaves.
If there is any pesto left-over, it keeps well in the fridge and makes a great snack spread for the next day.

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