Chickpea fusilli with a cucumber basil pesto and raw asparagus – this incredibly healthy dinner also happens to be oil free, sugar free, and vegan! Fusilli (and trofie) is the traditional pasta to eat with pesto, since the pesto fills the grooves in a very satisfying way.
We understand that Chick Pea (and other pulse based pastas) are still an expensive food item in some parts of the world, and if you can’t get it, feel free to use regular pasta. We chose to use it because of the nutritional benefit of the extra protein (and it’s cheap in Ireland!), so bear in mind that if you’re using regular pasta you’ll need to fortify with a protein source (adding tofu into the pesto etc) to make it more nutritionally complete.
This raw, fresh pesto smells incredible – no oil or animal products, just incredibly healthy, fresh ingredients. There are one or 2 slightly more offbeat ingredients, but these are definitely items that can be used to add fantastic flavour to all sorts of things, so worth seeking them out.
Chick pea fusilli with vegan basil pesto and asparagus
- 250 g Fusilli We used chick pea flour fusilli, but use whatever you can get
- 1 bundle fresh asparagus don't use canned. If you can't get fresh asparagus, use zucchini instead
- 25 g basil
- 50 g baby spinach
- 1/4 cup Cashew nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp miso
- 20 cm piece of cucumber, peeled
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the fusilli according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus into strips starting from the base, then add to the pasta.
- Place all the remaining ingredients into the bowel of your food processor, along with 1/2 tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. If using a nutribullet, put the cucumber and cashews in last, to make sure they blend up before the blades start working on the basil and spinach leaves. If using a traditional food processor, blitz up the cucumber and cashews first, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pulse into a pesto. Taste and adjust salt, pepper or lime juice if needed. It should be slightly saltier than usual.
- Mix together with the fusilli and asparagus and serve warm. Works well with some grated pecorino or some extra nutritional yeast sprinkled on top.