The Main Event

25th March 2016

Creamy Pesto Pasta and oven roasted cherry tomatoes

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In need of a super speedy supper recipe which is impossible to mess up? This one’s for you. The pesto pasta is creamy and packed full of flavour. Throw those cherry tomatoes in the oven asap and then its as simple as boiling some pasta and blending up all the pesto ingredients in a blender and voilá!

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Traditional pesto tends to have lots of parmesan and olive oil but this recipe uses avocado and walnuts instead, making it high in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats from the avocado. The nutritional yeast also gives the pesto a slightly cheesy undertone just like that of a traditional pesto.

 

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Don’t be tempted to skip making the roasted cherry tomatoes, they really make the dish. When you roast them they become surprisingly sweet which contrasts really well with the creamy pasta.

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If you have any extra pesto, you’re in luck. It works really well in salads, as a topping for roasted sweet potatoes, get experimenting! Stirring a couple of tablespoons into a big bowl of roasted veggies will add tons of flavour in a flash.

Creamy Pesto Pasta and oven roasted cherry tomatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cuisine: Vegan Italian
Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium (ripe) avocado
  • ½ cup walnuts (soaked for an hour+)
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 5 tbsp of starchy water (from pasta)
  • Pasta of your choice
Instructions
  1. For the cherry tomatoes: cut your cherry tomatoes in half and place them on a baking tray with a pinch of salt and drizzled with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Toss the tomatoes to coat them in the olive oil. Place them in a oven at gas mark 5/190C for 35-40 minutes. Check them regularly, turning them every now and then. They're ready when the skins have shrivelled and browned a little, and the juices from the tomatoes are bubbling lightly around them.
  3. Meanwhile, put the pasta on to boil and prepare the pesto:
  4. Place the soaked walnuts, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic and avocado in a blender or food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to form a thick paste.
  5. Add the juice of one lemon to the blender and grate in about a teaspoon of the zest. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  6. Tear off the leaves from the bunch of basil and add them to the blender. Pulse the entire mixture to incorporate all the ingredients for 30 seconds or so. The pesto should be thick and creamy. (add a couple of tbsp of water if too thick)
  7. Once your pasta is cooked, save a glass of the starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot it was cooking in.
  8. Add the pesto to the pasta, a couple of tablespoons at a time until all the pasta is coated. Add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved starchy water to loosen up the pesto if desired.
  9. Serve the pasta with the roasted tomatoes and enjoy!

 

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