Spring Primavera with Arugula Pesto Cream Sauce


This recipe for spring primavera is an entry in our Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest, created and submitted by Tina Coopman. To qualify, the recipe includes Coconut Milk Beverage by So Delicious Dairy Free.

Spring Primavera with Arugula Pesto Cream Sauce (dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan)

Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe ContestTina says, “This pasta is also amazing the next day, served cold as a pasta salad.”

For more details about the recipe contest, see this post: www.godairyfree.org/news/spring-fling-dairy-free-recipe-contest

Special Diet Notes & Options: Spring Primavera

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. To keep this spring primavera soy-free, be sure to select a dairy-free margarine that fits your dietary needs; Earth Balance offers a few soy-free options.

Spring Primavera with Arugula Pesto Cream Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 4 cups arugula, lightly packed, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Large pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 375 grams (about ¾ lb) short pasta of choice
  • 1 cup asparagus, trimmed, cut into inch long pieces
  • 1 small yellow pepper, cut into1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ cup dairy-free, non-hydrogenated margarine
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Arugula leaves for garnish
  1. In a food processor combine nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds and pulse until finely chopped. Add arugula and pulse until chopped. Add lemon juice, garlic, and pinch of salt, and pulse until combined. Pour olive oil in a thin drizzle until incorporated, making sure to scrape sides periodically.
  2. Cook pasta to box directions. When the pasta only needs 1 minute longer, throw in the asparagus and yellow pepper to blanch.
  3. While pasta is cooking, warm the coconut milk and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. Create a roux by melting the margarine in a pan over medium heat. Once melted stir in the flour until fully incorporated, cooking for 1 minute. Pour ⅓ of the coconut milk into the pot with the roux, whisking continuously. Once thickened add another ⅓ cup and repeat until all of the milk has been added and thickened by the roux. Add the pesto into the milk and mix well.
  4. Toss sauce with the hot pasta, vegetables and cherry tomatoes.
  5. Garnish with a few arugula leaves.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, 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.


  1. The recipe is missing the step to add the 4 cups arugula. I assume you are supposed to add it to the food processor in step 1?

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