Pesto pasta

Preparation time 10 min — Total time 25 min

The pesto can be made with any nuts, greens or pasta available, you can also add sun-dried tomatoes to serve.

Serves 4 - 6

Ingredients

Vegetarian ingredients

  • 75 g/2¾ oz Almonds peeled
  • large handful of basil (about 30 g, torn. Keep a few leaves for decoration.)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 300 g cherry, halved
  • 50g pecorino cheese grated, plus extra to serve
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt plus extra for cooking
  • 500g spaghetti or linguine (gluten free optional and you can also use any kind of pasta available)

Vegan and gluten-free ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil (loosely packed)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil (or other high-quality and flavourful oil)
  • 1 cup of Pine nuts (other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts may be used)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup vegan Parmesan
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 500 g pasta (gluten free optional)

We’re indebted to curry_pot’s post on instagram for the kind words and the picture of one of our most popular vegan dishes.

“Doing the NC500/some Isle hopping with my best friend for a week. So far we’ve stayed in Inverness, Auckengill and Lochinver. We went for dinner in Lochinver last night; this is spaghetti pesto with vegan Parmesan. It was lovely. Nice to see there’s plenty of vegan options in the highlands.”
(curry_pot from the location page for Peet’s Restaurant on Instagram)

You’ll see below, we’ve included both a vegan and gluten-free option, and a vegetarian version.

Method

Vegetarian

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the almonds for a few minutes. Drain and set aside to cool, then pinch off the skins.
  2. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Keep them moving to prevent burning; they should be a light golden colour.
  3. In a food processor, blitz the almonds until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the basil and garlic and blitz a couple of times. Tip into a bowl.
  4. Mix in the tomatoes, pecorino and oil. Season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it and stir the pesto through. Serve, garnished with basil, with plenty of pecorino cheese.

Vegan and gluten-free

  1. Combine all ingredients apart from the oil in a food processor until nuts are ground. Pesto should still have a breadcrumb texture and not be completely smooth.
  2. Mix in the tomatoes and oil. Season with the salt and pepper.
  3. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it and stir the pesto through. Serve, garnished with basil and vegan Parmesan.