Spicy Vegan Pesto Sauce
There is absolutely no reason to put Pecorino Romano cheese in pesto. Veganosity’s recipe is just as rich and flavorful without it, in fact, I confidently proclaim that it’s better tasting, and better for you. Cheese only increases the calories and the fat, seriously, who needs that?
Pesto is one of my favorite sauces to eat with pasta. The basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and spicy giardiniera complement one another so beautifully. The color is inviting, the aroma is divine, and the creamy texture is comfortable. This dish feels like home, even if you’re not Italian.
Here’s the best part of pesto sauce, it’s a raw sauce, and you don’t have to cook anything (except the pasta). All you need is a food processor to make this easy recipe.
So are you ready to get “cooking?” Let’s do this thing!
2 cups of basil – pack the leaves in tight after washing them
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cups cashews – soak them in warm water for 15 minutes
2 garlic cloves – peeled
1 tbsp. of hot giardiniera
½ to ¾ cup olive oil – if you like a thicker pesto then add ½ cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Okay, I fibbed a bit. You do have to toast the pine nuts, so there is a tiny bit of cooking involved, but come on…….
Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet on medium heat. Shake them around in the pan frequently so they brown evenly. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. It only takes 3-4 minutes to toast.
Add the pine nuts, drained cashews, and garlic to the food processor and blend them until they turn into a sand like consistency.
Now add the basil, giardiniera, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Blend until it’s a fine texture.
That’s all folks. All you need to do now is add it to your pasta and toss.
This is what perfectly toasted pine nuts should look like. They should be golden, not brown.
Beautiful, fragrant basil, few things are as wonderful.
This is the heat, hot giardiniera. You can add more than a tablespoon if you want it really spicy. Just be careful, add too much and you’ll cover up the other flavors.
This is what the finished product should look like, smooth, creamy, and a bit grainy.