Tag Archives: nut-free pesto

Harry’s Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta!

Harry’s Mum requested this as Harry can’t eat pesto because of a nut allergy. He’s fine with chickpeas (but they’re part of the same food family as peanuts, so it’s important to check this out), so I devised this recipe. Apparently it was a great success!

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, seed-free, egg-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 5 minutes plus overnight soaking time, if using dried chickpeas
Cooking time 1½ hours–2 hours, if using dried chickpeas     Serves 4


  • 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Drain the pasta and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again. Serve immediately with the sauce.