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 a much lighter and fresher tasting sauce, but still full of that great basil and garlic flavor!
You can serve this plain (just noodles and sauce) or with some lightly cooked vegetables, as shown in the above photo, such as onion, mushrooms, and/or summer squash, as well as chopped fresh tomatoes.
- For the pasta:
- 1 package spaghetti pasta (12 ounces)
- 1 ounce walnuts or pine nuts (about ¼ cup; for optional garnish)
- For the pesto sauce:
- 2 ounces fresh basil (about 2 cups chopped)
- 3 ounces cashews, walnuts or pine nuts (about ⅔ cup)
- ⅔ cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2 to 3 medium cloves)
- To make the pasta, cook according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse, and return the pasta to the pot. Set aside.
- To make the pesto, place all of the ingredients (basil, nuts, water, lemon juice, and garlic) into a food processor or blender, and blend until nearly smooth (some texture is good), adding a little more water as needed to thin.
- Stir the pesto into the pot of cooked pasta. Serve immediately as is or with cooked vegetables. To create a parmesan-like topping, grate some nuts on top (using a rotary cheese grater ).
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