Lemony Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta

Lemony Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta

Make sure to double up on the pesto from this recipe from the Dreena’s Kind Kitchen cookbook to use as pizza sauce, as a filling for stuffed mushrooms, or as a unique addition to vegan grilled cheese.

What you need:

¾ cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, plus 2 tablespoons crushed pumpkin seeds for garnish
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3½ tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1 cup loosely packed spinach leaves
2 to 5 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 pound whole-grain pasta
½ cup sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
Lemon wedges, for serving

What you do:

  1. Into a food processor, add pumpkin seeds, tahini, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse a few times until roughly chopped. Add basil and spinach and process again. Start with a tablespoon of water and pulse again, adding additional tablespoons as needed until a smooth consistency is reached. Add lemon zest and pulse. 
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve a ¼ cup of pasta water and then drain pasta, but don’t rinse. Return pasta to pot and toss with pesto, plus a tablespoon at a time of reserved pasta water, until pasta is desired saucy consistency. 
  3. Divide into 4 serving bowls and garnish with crushed pumpkin seeds, basil, sliced tomatoes, and lemon wedges.
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