Presto Pesto Cremieuse

Hey hey!

Guess what? It’s almost Friday! I don’t know about you, but this has been one whirlwind week!

Between work (where I’ve got 2 events coming up!), Bikram, cooking, and this baby o mine, I’ve been one busy chick.  I’ve barely seen CK for most of this week!

Since we missed each other dearly (you’d think living together would eliminate this feeling), I decided to cook us a pretty dinner and have a li’l bit of a date night.

All together now- awwww!

I sent CK an email at work asking him what he wanted for dinner, this was what I got:

Me: Any ideas for dinner tonight?

CK: Pasta.

Seriously, what kind of answer is that? I mean, at least he was able to name a food group, but come on!

I try again:

Me: LOL, Ok tomato or cream based sauce?

CK: Cream.

So this is what I had to work with: Pasta and Cream sauce.  Since I try to avoid dairy as much as possible, I figured I’d do some experimentation.  I was also craving pesto so this is how this sauce was born:

I give you, Creamy Basil Cashew Pesto

To make this you will need:

1 c. cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours

1 c. water

2 c. basil

½ c. olive oil

½ c. vegan Parmesan cheeze (I use Angela’s recipe)

3 cloves of garlic

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 box of pasta of choice, in our case this was whole wheat penne, cooked al dente in a vat of boiling salted water


–          While your cashews are soaking, pop your basil into either  food processor or blender (I used a blender as my mini food processor isn’t really up to snuff these days) and give it a bit of a whirl for a few seconds

–          Next add in your garlic, sea salt and pepper and pulse a few more times

–          Now, slowly add in your olive oil while your blender is running

–          Once you’ve added in all the oil pop in your cheeze

Congratulations you’ve now made pesto! Now moving onto the creamy portion of our sauce program:

–          Pop in your cashews, I did this by adding in half at a time, once you’ve got them all in there and blended with your pesto, add in the water

–          Depending on how thick you like your sauce, you may only use ½ c. you may end up using 1 ½ cups, its all up to you!

–          Once you have your sauce to your desired thickness, taste and adjust seasonings to your preference

–          Mix into your cooked pasta and top with extra vegan parm if so desired

You will definitely have sauce leftover and if you make it thick enough, this creamy pesto would double as a pretty bad-ass veggie dip too!

I served my pasta up with a fun li’l salad of frisée lettuce, tomato, cucumber and radishes

With my apple-dijon dressing:

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch of sea salt

Honestly, I wasn’t sure how this dressing was going to turn out but the freshness of the basil paired with the savoury sweetness and tangy notes of garlic, cheeze and salt totally rocked our socks off! CK went back for seconds and then started eating it straight from the pot- always a good sign!

I will definitely be making this sauce again and highly recommend you give it a try!

Ah, I feel much better now that I’ve posted a somewhat more legit recipe post again haha. Sometimes it’s really hard creating unique and tasty meals during the week but this one sure takes the cake for that!

Do you have any tips for keeping things creative in the kitchen? How do you keep yourself from falling into a “cooking rut”?

Oh and another bonus for today- I bought more fruit, woohoo! 🙂


About Jess @ MTL Veggie

Jess, the face behind The MTL Veggie is a vegetarian, athlete, marketer and Torontonian turned Montrealer. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, photography, running, yoga, skiing, and of course blogging. The MTL Veggie recaps her recipes, restaurant reviews, and what it's like to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal (hint: scary at times).
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2 Responses to Presto Pesto Cremieuse

  1. oh goodness! this looks amazing!!!

  2. Pingback: Seeking Comfort « The MTL Veggie

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