Monday, July 6, 2009

vegan purple pesto pasta with summer squash

The is our second dish of the week featuring the purple basil and summer squash we received. In this recipe, we wanted to make a creamy pesto sauce and decided to keep it vegan when we remembered we had some plain soy yogurt in the fridge. The soy yogurt gives it a bit of a tang and the nutritional yeast acts a replacement for Parmesan cheese in a traditional pesto. Honestly, I think this vegan pesto tastes way better than any traditional pesto! I ate so much I gave myself a stomach ache! Obvi, you can use whatever pasta you like, but isn't the riccioli shape so pretty!?

2 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups mixed summer & patty pan squash, julienned
1/2 lb riccioli pasta
2 pinches of salt, and one pinch of black pepper

Cook the pasta for 9 minutes in salted boiling water, or according to package directions. Meanwhile, saute the squash in olive oil, salt & pepper for about 8 to 10 minutes until the squash is completely cooked through and tender.

Purple pesto:
1 bunch purple basil, leaves only
4 cloves of garlic (you might want to use less, if you are trying to avoid garlic breath!)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup plain soy yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Add the basil, garlic and walnuts to a food processor and pulse while slowly drizzling in the olive oil until the pesto reaches a smooth consistency. Add the soy yogurt, lemon juice, salt & pepper and pulse again to incorporate. When the pasta and squash are done, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the nutritional yeast.

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