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Creamy Pesto Pasta

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

A Warming and Satisfying Winter Meal

creamy vegan pesto

If you've been following me for a while, you may know that I have another pesto recipe on Graziella TV. That one is a little different because it's nut- free, a little lighter and perfect for spring and summer (also a great choice for my nut- allergy friends). This creamy pesto pasta recipe is richer with the classic inclusion of pine nuts, and it can be made vegan too. I pair it with my favorite gluten free pasta (or whatever pasta of your choice is). This is such an easy to make crowd pleaser because the sauce isn't cooked! Just the pasta. And my kids (and hubby) LOVE IT! But I digress.. the pesto!

satisfying vegan dinner

If you're looking for a vegetarian main course, but don't know what to make, this creamy pesto is the perfect dish! It's satisfying, and hits all the right flavor points. I make this version of my pesto recipes more in the winter time since it is heavier, and you naturally do crave richer foods in the colder temperatures. I serve this as a main course, along side with a soup, salad or sautéed veggie. It's very filling, so you really don't need more than one side with it either. So, without further delay, let's make this!


1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, stems removed

1/4 Cup Pine Nuts (OR soaked cashews)*

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 teaspoon of Pink Himalyian Salt

1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Two Cloves Garlic, smashed

1/4 medium Onion, diced

1/4 cup Parmiggiano Reggiano, finely grated

1/4 cup Locatelli Brand Pecorino Romano, finely grated

12-16 ounces of pasta- my favorite gluten free brand

*If using cashews, be sure to soak them in water for about 4 hours at room temperature, OR for 30 minutes in boiled water.

**if making vegan, omit the cheese and sub with 1/4 cup extra pine nuts and a dash more of salt.


Put all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and start on low. Slowly raise the speed as the pesto begins to form. Blend it just before it begins to look like baby food, and you can still see the little specks of the green basil in the sauce. Drain pasta but reserve a bit of pasta water to thin out the sauce if necessary. Toss with 12- 16 ounces of freshly cooked pasta (according to package directions), immediately after straining.


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