Spaghetti with Red ‘Pesto’ Sauce

I made this recipe from Leah Leneman’s Vegan Cooking for One the other night, and I was really pleasantly surprised with it.  While Leneman suggests it as a main meal, both Red and I agreed that it wasn’t quite substantial enough as a main but that it was simple and easy enough to justify making it as part of a component meal.  You see, usually I’m anti-component meal because I’m lazy on weekdays and the idea of orchestrating more than one dish with multiple ingredients and steps doesn’t appeal.  And Red is anti-component meal because it requires him to do more washing up at the end of the night.

Anyway, so like I was saying, this was tasty and simple.  I will definitely make it again in the future alongside a component protein dish.

Also, I put pesto in quotes above because the recipe isn’t actually a pesto at all, as it doesn’t use pine  nuts or real parmesan.  But its substitutes are perfectly tasty.  And, really, it’s close enough.  Plus, I’m more likely to have almonds in my pantry than pine nuts.  Especially since I would probably only use pine nuts if I bought them for making pestos.  And I’m not known for my pestos or anything…
Spaghetti with Red Pesto Sauce


  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 servings’ worth of dried wholewheat pasta
  • 2 spring onions, chopped roughly
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 sundried tomatoes in oil (or soaked in boiling water and drained if dried)
  • 30 g toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vegan parmesan
  • 1 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped basil, to garnish

[Yields 2 side servings]

Step One Deseed and halve the red pepper.  Place under a hot grill and cook until well charred.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Step Two Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.

Step Three Once the red pepper has cooled sufficiently, rub off its skin with your fingers and then chop it roughly.  Add all of the ingredients (excepting the cooking pasta, obviously) to a food processor or blender.  Blend thoroughly.

Step Four Drain the spaghetti when it’s finished cooking and return it to the pot.  Chuck the pesto sauce you just made on top of the spaghetti.  Mix the pesto with the spaghetti over the lowest heat on the hob until everything is well combined.



One comment

  1. اليكس · September 24, 2009

    Thanks laresa! Let us know if you try it..and what you think of it!!!

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