Harry’s nut-free pesto pasta


Made with chickpeas instead of pine nuts, this one’s for anyone with a nut/seed allergy.

Harry’s mum requested this as Harry can’t eat pesto because of a nut allergy. He’s fine with chickpeas (which are part of the same food family as peanuts – see Food Families in the Diets section) as most people with nut allergies are, so I devised this recipe. Apparently it was a great success!

preparation time overnight soaking time if using dried chickpeas
cooking time 1½ hours – 2 hours if using dried chickpeas
serves 4

contains: soya

3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
400g gluten-free pasta
50g basil
25g dried chickpeas, or 50g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
40g dairy-free cheese
sea salt

1 If using dried chickpeas, place them in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight or for at least 12 hours.
2 The next day, drain the chickpeas, then rinse thoroughly. Put in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 1-1½ hours until tender. Drain thoroughly.
3 Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 tbsp 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.
4 Meanwhile, wash the basil under the running cold tap, and carefully pat dry in a clean tea towel.
4 Put the basil leaves, garlic, cooked or tinned chickpeas and dairy-free cheese into the bowl of a food processor, and start to blend until the mixture is a smooth puree. With the motor running, pour the remaining oil in gradually until the mixture becomes a thick, dense sauce. Add salt to taste.
5 Drain the pasta and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again. Serve immediately with the sauce.

related ingredients: corn pasta, kamut flour, quinoa pasta, soya cheese

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