Green Goddess Farfalle with Dairy Free Pesto

By Jacqueline Meldrum •

Don’t you just love pasta? It’s so quick and easy to make and there are hundreds of shapes and sauces. Jac shares her favourite sauce and shape combos along with a delicious recipe for a pasta dish with dairy free pesto.



According to I Love Pasta, there are over 600 shapes and types to choose from. Hmmmmmmmm!

Maybe I need to introduce a bit more variety into my kitchen cupboards.

My go-to shape is penne, which really holds a sauce well and I tend to coat it in a tomato-based sauce, but I’ll use it for just about anything. We eat so much of this one, that I buy it in bulk.

I like spaghetti with a bolognaise or just simply dressed with some olive oil, chilli flakes and parmesan.

I coat tagliatelle in creamy sauces.

Bow pasta or farfalle as it is also known, is paired with pesto.

If I am making a pasta salad I like to use messicani, which I call belly button pasta and is such a fun shape.

And that is it, just 5 pasta shapes. Not very adventurous when you consider there are over 600 out there. Note to self: must try harder! For this pasta dish, I fell into my old habits and used farfalle. Yep, you’ve guessed it, it has a pesto sauce. It also has spinach, broccoli and peas. A truly green delight.


The pesto is dairy free, but you could use standard pesto or add parmesan (veggie style of course)to my recipe. I would say it really doesn’t need the cheese. It’s utterly delicious and satisfying without it. One of the best pasta dishes I’ve created in a long time.

My recipe serves 6, but don’t be alarmed, you are going to want leftovers for lunch once you have tasted it.

Green Goddess Farfalle with Dairy Free Pesto


Serves 6


500g farfalle


120ml olive oil

30g basil leaves

90g salted cashew nuts

1 clove garlic

a good grinding of black pepper


1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets

1 cup of peas

3 clumps of frozen spinach

a good grinding of black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then cook the pasta according to the packet or until al dente.
  2. Whizz together the pesto ingredients in a blender until just about smooth. It’s nice to have a bit of a crunch to the sauce, so don’t over-blend it.
  3. A few minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the small broccoli florets and spinach to the pot and right at the end add the peas. They don’t take long at all.
  4. Before draining the pasta, reserve 3 tbsp of the cooking liquid to add back into the sauce.
  5. Drain the pasta and vegetables and return to the pot with the reserved cooking liquid and the pesto and stir well.
  6. Serve while hot with a good grinding of black pepper.
  7. Enjoy!


Inspired? For more pasta recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.


I love using cashews in place of pine nuts in pesto. It gives the pesto such a good flavour. You can make it with do many different nuts.
6 October 2013
What a great healthy dish and I love the addition of cashew nuts which I would never have thought to have with pasta:-)
5 October 2013

Jacqueline Meldrum

Jacqueline Meldrum is mum to a boisterous toddler who loves to bake, but in her spare time she is a food writer and recipe developer who writes the popular vegetarian food blog Tinned Tomatoes. She also writes family articles for Baby Centre UK and hosts the Dundee branch of the Clandestine Cake Club where she gets to meet up with other cakies, chomp cake and chat. 

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