Pasta with Pesto Cream


The abundance of sweet summer basil and tomatoes inspired this pasta with pesto cream: 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.

Special Diet Notes: Pasta with Pesto Cream

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. Optionally nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Pasta with Pesto Cream
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) package pasta, spaghetti style
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white rice flour
  • ⅓ cup dairy-free milk beverage
  • ⅓ cup broth (chicken or vegetable work best)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 basket red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts (optional)
To make the pesto:
  1. 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.
  2. Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
To prepare the sauce:
  1. Whisk together the olive oil, rice flour, salt, and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat, about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisking constantly, add the dairy-free milk a little at a time until incorporated.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the pesto mixture to the saucepan, whisking until thoroughly blended and heated through. Take care not to boil the sauce.
  5. Taste and correct the seasonings.
  6. Gently toss the pasta and sauce together.
  7. Serve the pasta topped with tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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