Homemade vegan basil pesto: a classic recipe

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Homemade basil pesto: a vegetarian recipe for the classic

Pesto tastes like a holiday in Italy. With yeast flakes, the popular gravy becomes vegetarian and irresistible – with pasta, in salads or on pizza.

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Pesto sauce is one of the most popular sauces around the world for a reason: the classic sauce is made quickly and has a wonderful aromatic flavor. This vegan recipe for homemade basil pesto is the star of every dish and gives pizza, pasta and the like an unmistakable twist.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best – pesto is the prime example here. The spicy basil pesto does not need many ingredients, after all the strong flavor of the basil is the protagonist of the recipe. It is also quick to prepare and always tastes great.

Even the classic Italian is versatile: with pasta, in salads, to spread on freshly baked ciabatta or on pizza, pesto gives almost every dish a certain something. The aromatic sauce is now available in various forms – from pesto with rocket or wild garlic, to red pesto of seki tomatoes, a pesto made with dried tomatoes, to Sicilian pistachio pesto, that is, pistachio pesto according to a Sicilian recipe – l imagination has no limits. The absolute classic: Genoese pesto. The basil version is by no means the most common among all the varieties of pesto, after all the basil gives the sauce an incomparable aroma.

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Genoese Pesto Origin

The origin of the Italian classics dates back to ancient Rome. The ancient historian Virgil spoke of “Moretum” – a mixture that was crushed into a paste of herbs, garlic, oil, vinegar and cream cheese in a kind of slurry. If necessary, the dice are already added here. The recipe much appreciated today was born in the nineteenth century: in 1865 the original recipe as a “mixed cream with garlic and basil” appears for the first time in the book “Genoese cooker” by the Rato brothers. By the way, the word “pesto” comes from the Italian word “bestari”, which means “pound”.

The original recipe is still prepared in mortars today. DOP Genoese basil is said to be particularly aromatic, giving the pesto its characteristic taste with its very intense aroma. The use of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil guarantees that it is obtained only from olives, i.e. without additives. It is packed with beneficial nutrients that improve heart health. All this is completed by abundant garlic, coarse salt, pine nuts and Parmesan.

Pesto without Parmesan – at least good

With small movements here and there, we evoke the classic botanical style. Yeast flakes replace Parmesan and give the sauce a distinctive cheesy flavor.

Furthermore, microchips are very healthy. They are rich in vitamins B1, B2, B5 and vitamin B6, as well as folic acid. It is also very rich in protein. Thanks to the gentle drying process, all vitamins, amino acids, proteins and minerals are preserved.

Cashews replace some pine nuts. It gives the recipe a light and delicate nutty flavor and makes the dough incredibly creamy with its soft texture. Toasted pine nuts and cashews give the pesto a more intense flavor, you can literally savor the wonderful flavor of the beans.

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We are no longer allowed to call the recipe “Pesto alla Genovese”, but that doesn’t matter – after all, this variant is in no way inferior to the original classic.

Vegan basil pesto recipe


  • 50 g of pine nuts
  • 50 g of cashew seeds
  • 7 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse salt
  • 1 bowl of fresh basil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 Eflochina
  • A little freshly ground pepper


  1. Briefly toast the pine nuts and cashews in a pan without oil, allow to cool and coarsely chop.
  2. Wash the basil, shake it to dry, then remove it from the stem.
  3. Peel and press the garlic.
  4. Put the pine nuts, cashews, olive oil, salt and garlic in a bowl and mix well with a hand whisk. It also works in a blender. If you have a mortar on hand and want to spend some time, pesto can traditionally be pounded in the mortar as well.
  5. Finally add the yeast flakes and season the basil pesto with pepper.

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