This pasta recipe is unbelievably easy to make, and so delicious. Thai basil is known for its antioxidants. It’s anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties make it a healing herb. In addition to that, Thai basil aroma is traditionally used to help relieve stress.
Thai basil is slightly different from Italian basil (sweet basil). It’s more pungent and has got more of a licorice, peppery, star anise note to it than sweet basil. Although they may look quite similar, the most distinguishable feature between Thai basil and Italian basil are the stems. Thai basil has a purple stained stem, and Italian basil has a light green stem.
Why Thai basil and not Italian basil?
Of course, nothing beats the classic Italian sweet basil pesto, but Thai basil adds a Southeast Asian element to pesto that delivers more spice and aroma than the delicate, traditional flavours of pesto. I have also made this vegan, so I have substituted parmesan with nutritional yeast. This substitute also contributes to the more peppery texture than a diluted creamy texture.
The Secret Flavour Enhancer
With this particular pesto, I’ve added some red chilli flakes, lemon juice and Tabasco to enhance the taste. It makes it all the more delicious!
I’ve used my pre-seasoned cast iron sauteuse from Meyer for this recipe. You can get yours here with 10% off using my code: MEYERxTVW
Vegan Pesto Pasta (with Thai basil)
- 1 Cast Iron Sauteuse Meyer
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 Spatula
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 Cast Iron Grill Meyer
- 115 grams Thai basil leaves only
- 1/2 cup roasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 medium onion chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 cups pasta to boil
- 1 cup pasta water
- 1/2 stem of broccoli diced
- 1/2 lemon sliced
- Add the Thai basil, nuts, onion, garlic, nutritional yeast and oil into a food processor and blend into a paste. The result should be a thick green paste, not a watery one. Add more olive oil if needed.
- In the pre-heated cast iron sauteuse, add the pesto mixture, and stir-fry for a few minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the spices (chilli flakes, Tabasco, salt, pepper, lemon juice) and stir together for another few minutes
- Fold in the pasta with the pasta water, and gently combine.
- In your cast iron grill, add the broccoli stems and lemon slices. Grill until light brown.
- Add the veggies as toppings and serve hot!
If you’ve made this, please do tag ‘The Veggie Wifey’ on Instagram. I’d love to see!