Sometimes you just need pasta in your life. And this is one of the best, most flavourful pastas I've had. It's also one of those great dishes that looks and sounds pretty impressive, but only takes 20 minutes to put together and so makes the perfect fall-back option if you're cooking for friends but find yourself tight for time. The key to this recipe is top quality sun-dried tomatoes - it's the star of the show here so splash out on some really top quality ones and this dish will go from good to freaking awesome.
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Linguine with Vegan Parmesan
Ingredients (makes 4 portions)
1 cup top quality sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil leaves (30g)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (see below)
3 Tbsp tomato puree
Salt and pepper to taste
100g dried pasta per person
50g cavolo nero or kale per person, chopped
For the vegan parmesan (makes 1 cup):
3/4 cup cashews
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder / garlic granules
First of all make the parmesan. Literally all you do is tip the ingredients into a food processor or chopping attachment of a stick blender (not a high speed blender like a Nutribullet as they're too powerful). Blitz for a minute or so until the consistency is like sand or, well, grated parmesan! This will make a cup so you'll have lots to store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and also goes great on vegan risotto or the ultimate vegan bolognese.
Now while making the pesto, cook your pasta as per packet instructions, adding the cavolo nero to the pasta for the last 5 minutes of cooking. To make the pesto, squeeze the sun-dried tomatoes to drain any excess oil. Add to the same food processor (no need to wash it after making the parmesan) and also chuck in the olive oil, basil, garlic, vegan parmesan, and tomato puree. Blitz this until it reaches a pesto-like consistency, although a few chunks of the sun-dried tomatoes left in there is nice in my opinion as it adds more texture.
Once cooked al dente, drain the pasta and cavolo nero, return to the pan you cooked it in, and stir in the pesto. If you reserve some of the pasta water, you can add a little back now if you like the pesto a bit thinner. Serve into warm bowls and top with some extra vegan parmesan, torn basil leaves, and fresh ground black pepper.
Nutrition (per serving with 100g - uncooked weight - pasta):
Protein: 15.6g (Women: 31.2% / Men: 28.4%)
Iron: 4.4mg (Women: 29.7% / Men: 50.6%)
Calories: 573 (Women: 28.7% / Men: 22.9%)
Sugars: 8.2g (Women: 9.1% / Men: 6.8%)
Total Fats: 22.4g (Women: 32.0% / Men: 23.6%)
Saturated Fats: 3.1g (Women: 15.5% / Men: 10.3%)
Salt: 0.6g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 10.0%)
Fibre: 8.1g (Women: 27.0% / Men: 27.0%)
See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.