Vegan Pesto Pasta - Italian

pesto and pastaAlign Center

I had to tell Jr.H, - "Don't act like a piggy over the pasta, H!", and then as always I do my customary apology to the 'absentee' piggy and say "Sorry, piggy! I know we humans associate you with everything dirty and greedy but actually your tribe is the one that should be insulting us!" Poor little piggies - they are eaten as processed meat in bacon, ham, pork, sausages, hot dogs and lard:(, and then to top it all we judiciously call them hogs, swines and gluts!!

Right after I wrote the opening para I remembered this dialogue between two boars from "Asterix and the Black Gold" by the Albert Underzo (I freak out on A and O comics!). At once I picked out the book and am reproducing a small extract here for your amusement - I know this is a vegan dish but this is too good to pass:)

Boar 1: "OINK! GRUNT! OINK! OINK!" (Are you quite sure we aren't giong to meet any of those crazy Gauls from the village)
Boar 2: "GRUNT! OINK! OINK! OINK!" (I told you, you're quite safe with me. Why are you scared?)
Boar 1: "Because they've wolfed down, scrunched, crunched and gobbled up my whole herd, and I am the sole survivor of a large family! That's why!"
Boar 2: "Calm down! No need to go ranting like a barnstormer! I admit they're good at bringing home the bacon..." ".....But as what must be cured cannot be endured, I've worked out an infallible system! I'll bet now we never feature on the Gaul's menu!"
Boar 1: "And who wins if you lose your bet?"

At this moment they spy Asterix and Obelix and cry "CRAZY GAULS!" and O cries "DINNER!"

Now it is for us to decide who the glutton here is - piggy dear or us? For those who are wondering what happened to Boar 1 and Boar 2 - Can you guess how they escaped? Let me know in the comment box!!

Meanwhile Jr.H saw the opening sentence, and said she will have her sweet revenge when she starts writing her bit in this blog which she says will show her side of the story!! He he......that will be interesting:). The piggy episode done with we can all proceed to more calmer things like tofu - firm, not so firm etc....

I purchased this wonderful book titled "The Tofu Cookbook" by Becky Johnson while at the Sale sometime this month and I think you will watch me going loony cooking tofu in my kitchen, adding them in soups, in mains, in side dishes and in desserts. The book has it all, and is dotted with lovely photographs to seduce all those who squirm at the mention of 'tofu'!

I liked the presentation of information on tofu and its derivatives right from the texture to the cooking and the look - excellent!! There are over 60 recipes, a few non-vegetarian but mostly vegetarian and quite a few vegan ones too! The first one I made yesterday was a vegan recipe for tomato-almond-basil pesto (My daughter just saw this and said
"Oh Ma! this was awesome!" - The piggy thing forgotten!). I made a pretty generous amount last night so that the children can toss it with pasta when they return from school and Jr.H needs to cook something fast for both of them.

You remember how I had once said I would like to patent a right on tandoori pesto potatoes? The pesto I adapted and made from the book was so good, I used it for tandoori potatoes with great results:) - My daughter guessed it to be tofu because she caught the glow, glee and grin on my face, and my husband did not believe when I said I had used tofu and not curd for marinating!! More on that in further posts to come!

Right now I am serving one at a time (Tch...tch - good manners!) so we will have the pesto potatoes next here. Today I will just do a quickie on making a vegan pesto adapting a recipe from the book I mentioned.

"Who moved my cheese?"
You won't ask this any more when served pesto like this! The recipe will give you the taste and the sharpness of cheese without the real thing, and I bet you just won't miss it!! Jr.H and Jr.P did not:)! They took this tossed in pasta for short break today and their boxes came back clean!

Tomato Basil Almond Tofu Pesto - (leave what you don't like and take what you like)
(Recipe adapted from The Tofu Cookbook by Becky Johnson

Tomatoes - 2 small, blanched
Garlic - 2 cloves
Fresh basil - About 7 to 8 leaves (Use more if you would like - I was playing safe)
Carotino oil (Check the link - a blend of canola oil and red palm oil) - 1 tsp.
Silken firm tofu - 150g (I used mori-nu)
Lemon juice - To taste (I used about 1tsp)
Thick Almond-cashew paste - 1/4cup
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste (I am generous)
Dry parsley - 1tsp. (for garnishing)
Chilli flakes - to taste

Tomato basil almond vegan pesto


Grind the tomatoes and garlic roughly.

Add the the rest of the ingredients except pepper and parsley and grind till you get a light green smooth blend.

Mix in the pepper and garnish with parsley when you photograph. Mine has changed in color due to different settings. Below is the actual color.

Tomato basil almond vegan pesto

I have reduced the basil by 4 times! Do increase it if you love basil! You may add a green chilli if you would like a little heat.

Pasta with pesto:
I used elbow macaroni with grooves from Barilla.
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. of carotino oil
Saffron strands to give it a bright color

Cook pasta till just done but left with a bite as per instructions on your packet. Well-cooked pasta is not as easily digestible as the just done pasta. I added saffron strands to the water to give mine a bright color which I did not really like in the end:( - I must reduce the saffron next time!

Drain and toss with a generous amount of pesto from above. Add a tsp. of carotino oil while doing so.
Vegan pasta with tomato basil almond pesto

Serve immediately with more sauce if needed.

I am sending the pesto and pasta to Vaishali's ongoing event at Holy Cow! - "It's a vegan world" themed Italian.

The saffron tinted pasta goes to FIC-Yellow hosted this month by me. Thanks for the lovely entries that have been pouring in! I am over the moon:)

The pesto is a great dip with roasted veggies hence I am sending this to Ramya's Chutney/Dip Mania also.


Pasta - Indian Style with Signora Pittipatti - A kiddie treat in TONGUE TICKLERS......

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