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Rita Serano’s Oil-Free Pistou with Pasta

Additional text Gee Marling

So simple it barely requires thought, this is the perfect recipe to whip up after a long day in the office. Giving you a much needed injection of nutrient-packed greens alongside eternally comforting pasta (use brown rice pasta if you want to keep the recipe vegan), it’s quick, easy and absolutely delicious. Pistou is the French version of the Italian pesto but without the parmesan or basil nuts. Serano’s version substitutes oil for avocado to give the sauce a sumptuous, creamy texture. This recipe uses broccoli and French beans but feel free to throw in any greens you have lingering in the fridge.

Recipe courtesy of Rita Serano’s Vegan in Seven

Rita Serano’s Oil-Free Pistou Pasta ©Altaimage, Laura Edwards, Kyle Books

Serves 4


400g short pasta
300g french beans, cut in half or into thirds
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 large bunches of basil (each 75g), roughly choppedt
¼ avocado
4–6 garlic cloves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt


1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in plenty of boiling water. Bring another pan of water to the boil and add the french beans for 7–8 minutes, and put the lid on. Add the broccoli after 3–4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, make the pistou. Put the basil, avocado, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tsp salt in a blender or food processor and add about 60ml of water. Process until smooth. Add some more water, 1 tbsp at a time, if needed.

3. Drain the pasta and reserve 2 tbsp of the cooking water. Combine the pasta with the vegetables, pistou and reserved cooking water (to make the pasta creamier) and mix to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

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