VEGAN + RAW PUMPKIN SEED PESTO PASTA


I love that Fall is here but I have to admit, I'm still holding onto a little piece of Summer. The golden autumn leaves of the Northwest covering my once mowed Kelly green grass is a sign of nature moving into hibernation mode and preparing for the gloomy, brisk winter months ahead.

I am looking forward to the bounty of fresh root vegetables, squash and winter fruits that are now making an appearance in markets, yet I still long for local fresh picked herbs, fragrant heirloom tomatoes, berries and crisp summer veggies that packed my fridge with a rainbow of colors this Summer.

To satisfy my appetite for both seasons, I decided to make this pesto recipe using raw pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts for a fall element and fresh basil for a taste of Summer. The pesto recipe tastes a little salty when sampled on its own, however, tossed with the kelp noodles, the flavors will mellow and the noodles will soften to perfection.

PUMPKIN SEED PESTO PASTA
(Serves 4)

Pasta
2-12 ounce packs Sea Tangle kelp noodles, drained, rinsed and patted dry

Pesto
3 cups fresh basil, stems removed, tightly packed
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 2 hours, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup virgin expeller pressed olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, stems removed, tightly packed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground


Make Pesto
1. Add basil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, parsley, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper to food processor. Pulse for about 30 seconds or until pumpkin seeds are broken down and pesto is slightly chunky.

Assemble
1. Place kelp noodles in large bowl. Add pesto and toss, coating noodles evenly. If you want noodles that are not as crunchy, cover pesto noodles and place in refrigerator for 2-4 hours. The salt from the sauce will soften the noodles.
2. Divide pesto pasta onto serving dishes of choice. Serve at room temperature or place in dehydrator at 115 degrees for 1 hour to warm. Enjoy!