The abundance of sweet summer basil and tomatoes inspired this recipe: the rich and creamy texture makes it irresistible. For a hearty entrée, top the pasta with grilled chicken, scallops or vegetables. This recipe is gluten-free friendly and can easily be adapted by simply preparing it with gluten-free pasta or made vegan by preparing the sauce with vegetable broth.
Makes 2 1/2 cups; Serves 4–6
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1 (16-ounce) package pasta, spaghetti style
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1tsp white rice flour
- 1/3 cup soy milk
- 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth (for vegan)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 basket red cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 TB toasted pine nuts (optional)
To make the pesto: Combine the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Pulse the mixture, scraping down the sides of the food processor with a spatula, until smooth.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
To prepare the sauce: Whisk together the olive oil, rice flour, salt, and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisking constantly, add the soy milk a little at a time until incorporated. Reduce the heat to medium-low; return the saucepan to the heat. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 6 minutes. Add the pesto mixture to the saucepan, whisking until thoroughly blended and heated through. Take care not to boil the sauce. Taste and correct the seasonings. Gently toss the pasta and sauce together, serve the pasta topped with tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.