Cashew Pesto Pasta

Jennifer Thompson
by Jennifer Thompson
4 Servings
45 min

If there was ever a summer to start gardening, this was it. For years, I’ve wanted to grow a herb and veggie garden. I’d spend much of the spring thinking about it, talking about it, obsessing over it, only to throw all gardening plans to the wayside as soon as patio season commenced. I mean, seriously, who wants to plant green beans when you could be sitting by the river with friends instead? Anyway, with nothing to do this summer aside from binge watch Selling Sunset on Netflix (I love it – fight me), the garden finally came to fruition. The most disappointing part of this story is that I quickly realized how badly I suck at gardening when half of what I planted died, much like my 2020 social life. I now water the few surviving herbs with a margarita in hand to make myself feel better. All of this to say that if you have a ton of basil (apparently that stuff can grow no matter how neglectful of a gardener you are), this cashew pesto pasta recipe is a great way to use it. The recipe is quick and easy, and pasta serves as a great base for solo patio drinks – just sayin’.

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Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 25 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 45 min
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  • 2 cups basil, fresh
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 oz pasta of choice
  • ½ cup pasta cooking water

Preheat oven to 350° Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add cashews in a single layer.
Roast cashews for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
In a food processor, combine basil, garlic, olive oil, cashews and Parmesan. Blend until mixture becomes a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook pasta as directed on package, reserving ½ cup of cooking water before draining.
Transfer pasta to a bowl. Add pesto and ¼ cup of pasta cooking water and stir. Keep adding pasta water until desired coating consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately and garnish with fresh parmesan. Enjoy!
Jennifer Thompson
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