Wow Zesty Basil Sauce for Pasta

Recipe by Julia Savory of 

This basil sauce is ideal; you can make it ahead in bulk and freeze down ready to add to cooked pasta. This sauce already contains the cornflour to thicken it when you heat it through, but you can add more milk to get it all a bit more saucy! Get creative with what you add to this basil sauce – we pan fry a few quartered chestnut mushrooms and stir those in along with spears of steamed broccoli, caramelized red onion petals and chunks of sun-dried tomatoes. Or just go lazy and cook linguine, slip it into the sauce and hit the sofa with a beautiful tasty bowl.


This recipe makes one portion of the sauce that will easily cover 250-300g of raw pasta.




  • Basil, fresh, 30g – chop the stalks off the leaves (you’ll use both but the stalks go into the food processor first)
  • Cornflour, ½ tbsp
  • Garlic, garlic, fresh, unpeeled weight, 30g – peel it and chop it roughly, ready for blending
  • Garlic powder, 0.5 tsp
  • Lemon juice, 60ml
  • Milk, oat, unsweetened, 220ml
  • Mustard, Dijon, 1 tsp
  • Nutritional yeast, 1 tsp
  • Nuts, cashew, 45g
  • Pepper, black, ground, pinch, or to suit your preference
  • Salt, fine, ¼ tsp, or to suit your preference


  1. Soak the cashews in hot water for 30 minutes whilst you get everything else out.
  2. Put the garlic, mustard, nutritional yeast, drained cashews and about 50ml of the oat milk (just enough to help everything blend) into a food processor and blend it until smooth. This will take minutes not seconds. Add the basil stalks and continue blending; it’s going green at this point.
  3. When you’re happy with the consistency of the sauce, add the basil leaves and ‘pulse’ the processor to break up the leaves without chopping them up completely. Take your own view on how coarse you’d like the paste to be.
  4. Tip the paste into a bowl or the box you’ll use to store or freeze the finished sauce, and add the remaining ingredients… so the rest of the milk, the cornflour, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Either freeze or use.

If using, cook your pasta, allowing 200g of raw pasta for 2 people. Steam some broccoli. Cut chunks of sun-dried tomato. Pay fry some mushroom chunks. Caramelise some onions until transparent. Put the sauce into a frying pan along with the cooked pasta. Heat until the sauce thickens. Add the sun-dried tomato chunks, mushrooms, onions and finally the broccoli (put this in at the end so it stays green). Top with a lemon wedge, some rocket or basil maybe with a zizzle of oil and vinegar, and you’re done.


Recipe © Julia Savory, all rights reserved Wow Zesty Basil Sauce for Pasta 1

All photos © Tim Price, all rights reserved 

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