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The biggest struggle we’ve had so far with being vegan is missing our daily cheese intake. We  have tried some store bought substitutes (like daiya) but they just don’t cut it. Jill amped up some cashew cheese with a ton of basil and it turned out pretty delicious.

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Vegan Pesto Pasta

Prep time: 2 hours (inactive) 15 minutes active
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2.5 hours
Yield: 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the Cashew Cheese:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  •  ¼ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

For the Pesto:

  • 3 cups fresh basil
  •  2 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cashew cheese

For the Pasta:

  • 24 oz fusilli pasta
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Soak the cashews in warm water for a minimum of two hours, then strain. This step creates a creamy texture for the cheese. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. This will make about 1 ½ cups of cashew cheese. You can store the extra ½ cup in the refrigerator for up to one week and use it as a dip or spread. Keep the other cup in the food processor and add all remaining ingredients for the pesto and blend again.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions on package. Once cooked, toss with pesto sauce and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!