Dairy-free cheese makes a fantastic pesto. I find the harder types of dairy-free cheese (often called cheddar-style) best for this, but any of them work well. This recipe freezes well, so you can prepare a large batch – especially if basil is in season and inexpensive – and freeze individual portions for when you’re just too tired or just don’t have any spare time to cook.
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, citrus-free
Preparation time 2 minutes Cooking time 10–13 minutes Serves 4
- 4-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 400g gluten-free pasta
- 50g basil
- 25g pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 40g dairy-free cheese
- sea salt
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then the pasta. Cook over a medium heat for about 8–10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, stirring frequently so that the pasta does not stick together.
- Meanwhile, wash the basil under the running cold tap, and carefully pat dry in a clean tea towel.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown. Keep the nuts moving all the time so they don’t burn.
- Remove from the heat and tip the nuts into the bowl of a food processor. Add the basil leaves, garlic and dairy-free cheese, and start to blend the mixture. With the motor running, pour the remaining oil in gradually until the mixture becomes a thick, dense sauce. Add salt to taste.
- Drain the pasta and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again. Serve immediately with the sauce.