Vegan Nutty Thai Basil Pesto Pasta Recipe

This pesto pasta is creamy, nutty, spicy and salty. All the good things in the world in a pasta dish! It is an East/South East Asian take on the classic Italian pesto. Did we mention it is absolutely delicious??

We will be making a saucy pesto and cooking it down to get that extra creaminess. This recipe is hard to mess up and allergen-friendly. You are most welcome to swap out any ingredients you wish. We'd like to think cooking is an art and art does not have rules. You learn the technique and use it however you see fit. We hope this recipe inspires you to make your own versions of pesto; let your imagination flow!

Video Instructions

open video on PeerTube


*We cook the tradition way - a pinch and a handful - so no exact measurements will be provided. The secret is to taste as your go and follow your intuition ❣️

Cooking Steps

  1. Soak nuts in water over night or in hot water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
    • Using a blender

    • add all ingredients into blender and blend to a desired sauce
    • Using a mortar and pestle

    • pound all dry ingredients including drained nuts into a paste
    • mix paste with water into a desired consistency
green pesto sauce in a cup
a smooth pesto sauce (using a blender)
chunky pumpkin seed pesto sauce
a chunky pumpkin seed pesto sauce, without any herbs added (using a mortar and pestle)
  1. Add a generous pinch of salt to boiling water and cook pasta to al dente minus 3 minutes. Drain and preserve some pasta cooking water for later.
  2. Meanwhile, heat up a pan on the stove, drizzle in olive oil. Cook onion, corn or other veggies of choice until fragrant. Add in tomato concentrate or chopped fresh tomato and cook for another minute or so.
frying the veggies + tomato concentrate brings out more flavours
  1. Add pasta into the pan, mix well with veggies.
  2. Add in pesto sauce and some cooking water as needed. There should be a thin layer of watery sauce on the bottom of the pan. Also add in salt and Italian herbs. Stir to combine.
pasta with sauce before reducing
  1. Cover pan with a lid and let it cook (reduce) on medium low fire. Check back in three minutes or so, the sauce should be creamy and coating the pasta well. Remeber to taste and add in seasonings as needed.
after reducing, sauce should be creamy and sticks to the pasta
  1. Meanwhile, prepare side salad. For cucumbers, smash with knife blade and cut into bitesize chunks.
smashing the cucumber makes every bite that much more juicy and interesting
  1. Plate pesto pasta with side salad and garnish with coriander.
pesto fusili with onion and corn garnished with coriander with a cucumber side salad

Bon appétit!

changing up the recipe: pumpkin seed pesto spaghetti without herbs