Super Green Pesto with Blistered Garlic Tomatoes

This homemade vegan pesto is packed with greens and we’re taking it to another level with the addition of roasted garlic. Use this versatile sauce for your next pasta night, pizza night, spread it on sandwiches, or drizzle it over salads; the possibilities are truly endless!

We have been excited to share this recipe ever since we decided to start a blog because of its simple yet rewarding array of flavours. This meal is seriously our apartment favourite and we shamelessly eat it multiple times a month. It’s a great recipe to add to your pasta rotation, and because it comes together so quickly, it’s great to enjoy on busy days after work. This plant-based pesto is bold and vibrant, and each bite becomes a pocket of flavour bursting out of the rigatoni pasta. The topping of blistered garlic tomatoes is a quick add (and very extra? yes!) but complements the recipe with an additional burst of flavour.

We have always been big fans of pesto because of its use of fresh herbs and versatility. Yes, this is a pasta recipe, but we use it for many different meals; pizza, salads, sandwiches, etc. and we encourage you to do the same! You know we love any excuse to add roasted garlic to a recipe and this pesto is no exception. We’re already roasting the garlic with the blistered tomatoes so we thought it only made sense to do some extra and throw it into the pesto to bring out those deep caramelized flavours and elevate the sauce. Of course, we also had to add tons of nooch and miso paste for umami goodness and those cheese-less cheesy vibes.

Enjoy our Super Green Pesto with Blistered Garlic Tomatoes for your next pasta night; we know you’ll love it! Also, let us know what’s your go-to pasta sauce?

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations – @smallkitchenbigplates

Super Green Pesto with Blistered Garlic Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

This homemade vegan pesto is packed with greens and we’re taking it to another level with the addition of roasted garlic. Use this versatile sauce for your next pasta night, pizza night, spread it on sandwiches, or drizzle it over salads; the possibilities are truly endless!

Ingredients

  • 454g (16oz) rigatoni pasta or pasta of your choice, cooked according to instructions
    Blistered Garlic Tomatoes
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise (half will be used in pesto)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
    Pesto
  • 2 cups basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup spinach or kale, packed
  • 1/3 cup cashews, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 head garlic, roasted
  • 1.5 tablespoons miso paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pasta water to thin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Rinse cherry tomatoes and place them in an 8×8 baking dish along with the cut in half garlic. Toss tomatoes and garlic in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until the garlic is soft and golden and the tomatoes are blistering and popping, about 30 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Remove one half of the garlic and set aside for the pesto and then squeeze the cloves of the remaining half from the bulb and mix them into the tomatoes.
  3. Meanwhile, boil heavily salted water in a large pot and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. When the pasta is cooked, strain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water for the pesto.
  4. Make the pesto. Add basil, spinach or kale, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and zest, roasted garlic, miso paste, salt, and pepper to a blender and blend until smooth. Slowly stream the olive oil into the pesto and keep blending. Add pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until the pesto becomes very smooth (you probably won’t need the full 1/2 cup) and to your desired consistency.
  5. Place the pasta back into the pot, pour the pesto over it, and mix well. Serve topped with blistered garlic tomatoes and fresh basil.

Notes

  1. We always use rigatoni because the sauce coats the inside and outside really well so each bite has a burst of pesto, but feel free to use any other variety.
  2. We like to switch it up between spinach and kale (lacinato kale is our fav) as both will produce a delicious final pesto.
  3. If you don’t like tomatoes you can leave that part out of the recipe but we highly recommend you still roast half a head of garlic for the pesto. Other toppings that we include sometimes are sautéed mushrooms or any other veggies we have in our fridge.

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