Saturday, November 19, 2011

Raw Pasta Two Ways


 “The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.”

“The way you cut your veggies reflects the way you live.” 
— Me, earlier today
I love vegetables, but like most things I get b.o.r.e.d very easily.  So cutting veggies up like pasta is nothing new friends, but what I have dressed them with today, well, hello gorgeous (yes you) and what I am tasting in my mouth.  I’ve been making pesto for years and this is my favorite recipe but I find it gets a bit washed out on pasta, so I added one simple ingredient and bam – love! The perfect raw pesto.  I adore pesto in any form.  It brings back lovely memories of my beloved Gramie (who was a die-hard cook).  Growing up I spent the summers with my Grandparents (and lived with them for many years).  Gramie often made fresh pesto and I vividly remember her explaining what it was and how to make it with nothing less than grand enthusiasm over the entire process from leaves to paste. Of course I thought it was awesome, and she allowed me to do the best part of the job…drizzling in the oil.  Magic.  If my Gramie was alive today I know she would LOVE my heart-healthy version.  This one’s for you Gramie! 
Sauce #1: The Perfect Raw Pesto
  • 2 ounces of fresh basil (sort of hard to measure in cups, probably 4 cups)
  • 1 cup raw organic walnuts (you could also toast the walnuts, but do not if making raw)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon (to taste)
  • ½ cup olive oil (or preferred oil)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic granules (or one clove of fresh garlic – or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  1. Place toasted walnuts in food processor and pulse a few times.
  2. Add basil, garlic granules, salt and pulse.
  3. Add the avocado and pulse until incorporated.
  4. Test for seasoning.
This sauce also works great with cooked gluten-free pasta (this is how I tested it originally)
Pesto is best served at room temperature (in my opinion)


The first time I ate at Cafe Gratitude I fell in love; I was smitten like a lovesick teenager, seriously!  Check out their website and I dare you to not feel warm, fuzzy, loved, and excited about their philosophy and their food – my goddess the food!  I’m sure I scared the poor man sitting next to me as I moaned, groaned, and talked to myself through the entire meal (who does that? oh, crazy people like me – okay, I was having a foodgasm if you must know).  I was still chewing my first bite when I spotted their cookbook, ran to it, grabbed it, and proceeded to hold onto it (while I ate) like a miserly mouse clenching the last piece of cheese.  So if you are headed to San Francisco for a visit, call me and I will meet you there and we can be crazy about this place together!
Sauce #2: Fabulous Fig Balsamic Dressing
This is a sweet/savory sauce from one of my favorite restaurants on the planet, Cafe Gratitude. The fig sauce is located on page 45. It's fantastic. I adapted it slightly with what I had on hand, so the original recipe is different.
  • 7 black mission figs, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • A few turns of the pepper grinder
  • Walnut oil
  1. Add figs, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and lemon to food processor, blend until Incorporated
  2. Drizzle in oil until creamy
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Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, sauces, sides, vegan.


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