Ah, lovely pesto! But don’t you need olive oil and cheese to make pesto? No way! These ingredients are traditional, but they can simply be omitted, resulting in sauce that is lighter and fresher tasting, but still has plenty of that famous basil and garlic punch!
- For the pasta:
- 1 package spaghetti pasta (12 ounces)
- 1 ounce cashews, walnuts, or pine nuts, ground (about ¼ cup; for optional garnish)
- For the pesto sauce:
- ⅔ cup water
- 3 ounces cashews, walnuts and/or pine nuts (about ¾ cup)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2 to 3 medium cloves)
- 2 ounces fresh basil (about 2 cups chopped)
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water, return the pasta to the pot, and set aside.
- To make the pesto, place all of the sauce ingredients (water, nuts, lemon juice, garlic, and basil) into a food processor, and process for 1 to 2 minutes, adding a little water, as needed. (You can also use a blender, which blends more quickly and results in a smoother sauce).
- Stir the pesto sauce into the pot of cooked pasta. Serve immediately as is or topped with ground nuts (use a rotary cheese grater to create a parmesan-like topping).
If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please share a comment below or on my Facebook page. If you’d like to print this recipe, use the green “Print” button near the top-right of the recipe. Learn more about the Straight Up Food Cookbook here. Thank you!