Recipe: Winter Pesto Pasta w/ Cheesy Sunflower Crumb

Recipe: Winter Pesto Pasta w/ Cheesy Sunflower Crumb

What dinner dreams are made of.

Basil’s out, winter greens are in! As much as we love the stuff, it’s no longer at its peak, with the autumn season in full swing. Introducing: our take on seasonal pesto. It gets it creaminess from broccoli and peas, and its depth of flavour from cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon and olive oil. We didn’t stop there though. We went the full mile and added a delicious sunflower seed topping, which gives the dish a real cheesy oomph and a satisfying crunchy bite. Snatch the recipe below!

Ingredients

Pesto (serves 6)

1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
1 cup frozen peas
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Juice 1 lemon
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup cashews
¼ tsp salt 
¼ cup olive oil 
Pepper to taste

Sunflower Seed Topping:

1 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil 
1 tbsp nutritional yeast 
¼ salt 

To serve: 500 grams tagliatelle (or any pasta of choice), vegan cheese (optional)

Method

To make the pesto:

  1. Start off by blanching the broccoli and peas for the pesto. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the broccoli and peas in, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from water and drain.
  2. Transfer the broccoli and peas to a food processor, along with garlic, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Pulse to combine. Add in the cashews, salt and a couple tbsp of olive oil. Pulse again. 
  3. While the food processor is running, pour the remaining olive oil, until the pesto comes together (1 minute or so). Taste for salt and pepper.

To make the sunflower seed crumb:

  1. Toast the sunflower seeds in a pan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often to ensure all sides are browning. Remove from heat and add to a clean food processor (clean food processor; not into the pesto). 

To serve:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously, and once boiling add in your 500g of pasta. Cook for instructed time. Before draining the pasta, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water.
  2. Transfer the drained pasta back into your pot, and add in the pesto and a couple tbsp of the reserved pasta-cooking water. Stir to combine, adding in a couple extra tbsp of cooking water if your pasta is looking stiff.
  3. Serve pasta topped with sunflower seed crumb, and vegan cheese if using.