Making your own pesto takes just minutes and tastes amazing. Try making my vegan rocket pesto with tagliatelle for a quick and delicious dinner that the whole family can enjoy.
This rocket pesto with tagliatelle is one of my favourite recipes for vegan dishes. It's so quick and easy to make that you can have dinner on the table in under 15 minutes - now that doesn't happen every day does it?
Rocket or arugula?
Rocket and arugula are the same thing. Here in the UK we commonly call the bitter leafy green rocket.
In the United States it's usually called arugula.
Make it more filling
You can make this vegan dish more substantial by stirring through a tin of cannellini beans or serving it with a large side salad or some steamed greens.
If you need more vegan meal inspiration check out these 31 vegan dinner recipes or these 20 easy vegan pasta dishes.
Rocket is a bitter leaf - too bitter in fact for a lot of people. After I received mixed comments on this recipe - I did some research into this.
And what I found out is that some people simply don't like bitter food, while others love it. Scientists believe that this - whether you like bitter food - or not - comes down to our genes.
The taste of rocket can also vary from season to season. Freshly grown summer rocket can taste a lot stronger than that grown in the winter (source: The Independent).
If you know that you find bitter food difficult to stomach you could try substituting some of the rocket with basil leaves.
More vegan pasta recipes
- Chickpea kale pasta salad with orzo
- Roasted tomato asparagus pasta
- Pasta with courgettes and lovage
- Sundried tomato pasta sauce with walnuts and chipotle
- Butternut squash mac and cheese
- Beetroot pesto pasta
- Avocado pesto
Pin tagliatelle with vegan rocket pesto for later
How to make vegan rocket pesto
It's much easier than you'd think to make your own pesto. As long as you have a blender or food processor you'll be able to make a jar of delicious homemade pesto in just a few minutes. You can also make this with a handheld stick blender but the results won't be as smooth.
I like to use pine nuts to make my rocket pesto - a cheaper alternative is to use cashew nuts or you can keep it nut free by substituting sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds instead.
Tagliatelle with vegan rocket pesto
- 150 g tagliatelle dried tagliatelle should be vegan but check the ingredients
- 50 g rocket (arugula) leaves washed and roughly chopped
- 30 g pine nuts plus a small handful for serving
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or more until you have the desired consistency
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ lemon juiced, or to taste
- pinch salt or more, to taste
- Bring a large pot of boiling water to the boil and cook the tagliatelle according to the packet instructions.
- Place the pesto ingredients - apart from the lemon juice - in a blender or food processor and pulse until broken down. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt.
- If serving with extra pine nuts, lightly toast them in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes. Stir often to prevent them from burning.
- Once cooked drain the pasta and stir through the rocket pesto, heating gently.
- Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.
This rocket pesto recipe originally appeared over on my lovely friend Mel's blog, Le Coin de Mel, as part of her Feature my Food Friday series.
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This did not turn out very well. We found it much too bitter. It was not very creamy either. I wondered whether there should have been 30g rocket and 50g pine nuts? And maybe juice of half a lemon was a bit too much. Also it needed more than just a pinch of salt. Won't be cooking this again!
Sorry to hear that Elaine. We often eat this and really enjoy it.
A great way to use the huge amount of rocket in my garden! I added tomatoes and mushrooms and sprinkled with vegan 'parmesan' cheese (blended cashews, garlic powder, seasoning and nutritional yeast. Really enjoyed it and my kids had seconds - always a good indicator 🙂
That's brilliant Emma - so glad you enjoyed it - and that the kids did too!
I just made this. I love how quick and easy it is to make! But there’s something not quite right, half a lemon might be a bit too much. I will try this again next time and see if it remedies that. Otherwise, it’s nice! The pine nuts give it a slight creaminess.
Glad you enjoyed it Adriana - I always use half a lemon and we love it but definitely use less next time to adjust it to your taste.
The age of the rocket can change the taste dramatically. Vegetables including leafy greens, convert sugars to starch as they age, this results in a much stronger taste in older but still edible produce. I recommend tasting the rocket before cooking, to assess this, especially if it is going to be used as a basis for a dish.
Rocket is also just one of those foods that is a bit of an acquired taste. Exchanging baby spinach for the rocket may make it more enjoyable for some.
Great tips - thanks for sharing. I also find that supermarket rocket is often milder than the rocket I receive in my vegetable bag.