If you're craving a light, fresh pasta dinner, this recipe is for you! Vegan Pesto Pasta combines homemade pesto with savory roasted cherry tomatoes and creamy almond ricotta for a delicious meal.
Hello, my beautiful friends! We have made it to SATURDAY! I am so incredibly excited to be sharing this recipe with you guys today - it is seriously one of the best things I've made, probably ever. This Vegan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Almond Ricotta is savory, fresh, and so perfect for summer. It does involve a few different components, but I promise it's all really easy and the flavor payoff is insane. The umami in this vegan pesto pasta is seriously off the charts!
What do I need to make vegan pesto pasta at home?
- Basil! This is a crucial part of the pesto. I've been growing it on my balcony this summer and it is out there thriving and living its best life, I swear. You will need about two cups of basil for this recipe, either store-bought or homegrown. I did a mix of sweet/Italian basil and purple Thai basil, since that is what I'm growing!
- Garlic - if you know me, you know garlic is my love language. I can't get enough of it, so I was generous in this pesto... I used 6 cloves. You can add less (or more!) according to your preference.
- Nuts - I went traditional this time and used pine nuts since I had them in the house, but I've made pesto with almonds, walnuts, and even pecans before with great results. Pesto is super forgiving!
- Vegan parmesan - this is optional, but awesome if you have it in the house. It really helps make the pesto extra creamy and rich! I used the Violife vegan parm for my pesto this time. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast to give it a "cheesy" flavor instead.
- Olive oil - this is really the base of your pesto sauce, so ideally you should use extra virgin olive oil. Another high-quality oil like avocado is also ok. Stay away from the cheap stuff like canola or corn oil in this case!
- Pasta - well, you can't have vegan pesto pasta without the pasta of course. I found this fun pasta at the store the other week, called "mezzi paccheri" - they are positively HUGE! And they are called "mezzi" (aka "half") paccheri, which means that yes, you can actually also buy "whole" paccheri which are even bigger! If you want a similar feel with a more common pasta shape, I recommend rigatoni.
How do I make this vegan pesto pasta at home?
Like I mentioned, there are a few components that have to be prepared to create the ultimate vegan pesto pasta!
- The pesto - you need some special ingredients for the pesto, but gathering the ingredients is the hardest part! To prepare it, just toss everything in a mini food processor with a pinch of salt and blend until creamy. Done and done.
- The roasted tomatoes - this part is also ridiculously simple, but adds tons of flavor. I'm obsessed with roasting cherry tomatoes, as they get caramelized and deliciously sweet & savory. To make these, just toss a pint of cherry tomatoes with olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, salt, and Italian herbs in a small baking dish. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, and that's it!
- The almond ricotta - I will admit, this is just cause I wanted to be extra and add another creamy, savory component to this pesto pasta. If you don't want to do it - you totally don't have to. But it sure is good! To make the ricotta, you just combine blanched sliced almonds with lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and a little bit of water in a food processor. Pulse until a creamy "ricotta" forms, and that's all there is to it! You can add more or less water to make it more creamy vs. crumbly.
- To serve - boil your pasta according to package directions. Drain your noodles, and toss with your pesto. Top with the roasted tomatoes and almond ricotta, and enjoy!
I hope you guys will give this vegan pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes and almond ricotta a try! It is incredibly delicious and the ultimate summer comfort meal! It does involve a few different moving parts, but I promise you will be rewarded with some ridiculously tasty food. Happy eating!
Looking for more easy pasta recipes?
- Avocado Pesto Pasta
- Simple Vegan Pasta Puttanesca
- Spinach Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Creamy Vegan Kale & Chickpea Pasta
- Spaghetti Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino
- *for the roasted tomatoes*
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix
- pinch of salt
- *for the pesto*
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 5-6 garlic cloves, more or less to preference
- 2 tablespoon vegan parmesan (can substitute nutritional yeast)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 3-4 tablespoon olive oil, more or less as needed
- pinch of salt
- *for the almond ricotta*
- ½ cup blanched sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 2½ tablespoon water
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt, to taste
- *to serve*
- 1 lb pasta of choice
- First, prepare the roasted tomatoes. Preheat oven to 400F.
- Combine the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, peeled garlic cloves, Italian herbs, and salt in a small baking dish. Roast in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until caramelized and blistered.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the pesto. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, peeled garlic cloves, vegan parmesan, basil leaves, and pinch of salt. Add in about half the olive oil, and pulse mixture until it is very finely chopped and starting to look creamy. Add more oil as needed if it is too thick. Transfer your pesto to a bowl, and set aside.
- Finally, make the almond ricotta. In a food processor, combine the blanched almonds with the nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Pulse until smooth and creamy. You can add more or less water depending if you'd like your ricotta more creamy or crumbly. Set aside.
- When the tomatoes are nearly ready, you can start to prepare the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt generously. Cook noodles according to package directions.
- When pasta is ready, drain (save some pasta water just in case) and toss with the pesto. Add some of the reserved pasta water if mixture is too thick. Serve the pesto pasta with the roasted tomatoes and almond ricotta. Enjoy!
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