A creamy vegan lemon and basil pasta that's ready in just 30 minutes, this is a recipe that's incredibly easy to customize and make your own. The dairy-free pasta sauce made with cashews is super flavourful and pairs perfectly with the tanginess of red roasted peppers and the texture of artichokes.
If you've never made pasta sauce with raw cashews, now it's definitely the right time to start. This creamy vegan lemon and basil pasta sauce is out-of-this-world delicious, and you'll find yourself craving it more often than you'd like. I mean, I know I am!
Pasta sauce that's totally creamy and totally vegan is not that easy to come about. Yes, there are so many ways to make a creamy sauce without using dairy, but many of them somehow turn up disappointing.
That's not the case with this lemon basil pasta sauce. The fresh basil and lemon infuse the cashew-based sauce with so much flavour it's unreal. Add to this a bit of garlic, and you might as well be in pasta heaven.
What do you need to make this lemon basil pasta sauce?
Raw, unsalted cashews are the base of this recipe, and you'll need to soak them in some hot water for about 30 minutes before using them in this recipe. You can use them raw and unsoaked, but the result might not be as creamy.
Fresh basil is a must here, and you'll need about half a bunch (the equivalent of one cupful). Besides infusing the sauce with a heavenly aroma, the basil is also responsible for its lovely color.
You'll also need the juice of half a lemon and a couple of garlic cloves. What's great about this sauce is that it's totally customizable, so you can play with the quantities if you want it to be more garlicky or more lemony.
How do you make the pasta?
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, make the lemon basil sauce. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth and creamy.
- Next, heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until translucent and soft.
- Stir in the red peppers and artichokes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the rocket and cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted.
- Add the lemon basil sauce to the pan and stir to combine.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Add a bit of pasta water if the sauce looks too thick and season to taste.
- Serve immediately, topped with some extra rocket or toasted pine nuts if you like.
Extra recipe tips
- The sauce is key to the deliciousness that is this pasta, but you can customize the veggies to suit your taste. Ideas include sundried tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower florets or courgettes.
- If you don't have a blender, you can use a food processor instead, but keep in mind that you may end up with tiny bits of chunky cashew and the sauce may not be as smooth.
- You can add some vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast to the sauce for extra flavour.
If you loved this creamy vegan lemon and basil pasta, here are some more easy vegan recipes you can try: