Simply Pasta: Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Simply Pasta is a monthly recipe column in which Best of Vegan contributor Teri-Ann Carty delves into her 20-year experience in fine dining and shares her best practices and recipes for making amazing pasta. In the second installment of Simply Pasta, she shares her recipe for a well-built vegan sun-dried tomato pesto pasta.

Simply Pasta: Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Before I went vegan I was a huge fan of sausage pasta. Let’s be real, I was a huge fan of sausage with anything. Lucky for me (and all of you that love sausage too), the vegan world has made plant-based sausages in abundance. Before the mister was diagnosed celiac, our options were endless but since that diagnosis, our options have narrowed in a massive way. So THANKFULLY we are even able to find gluten-free sausages which can be a little more tricky but not impossible. Me and the mister aim to make everything from scratch and honestly, we do really well in that department but sometimes I need quick and easy. Can I get an amen for that? I am a busy gal and am usually up to my eyeballs in edits and recipe development so I will take convenience when I can!

Simply Pasta: Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

This pasta was a winner in all the ways. The watercress both in the pesto and the dish was just the right addition to cut the richness of this dish. I made sure to keep the protein level up by adding in a good portion of chickpeas too. A well-built pasta that checks all the boxes. And when I get around to creating a gluten-free vegan sausage recipe, you’ll be the first to know!!

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Vegan Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta




  • ¼ cup garlic scapes (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup micro broccoli 
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 1 cup watercress stems removed
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained)
  • ½¾ cup olive oil
  • Pinch chili flakes 
  • ½ tsp salt & cracked pepper


  • 1 bag of pasta (I used mezzo rigatoni)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus more for garnish 
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 vegan sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch discs
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cup watercress stems removed
  • ¾ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • Shaved vegan parmesan (or homemade vegan parmesan)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper


To make pesto:

  1. Add all the ingredients but olive oil into a food processor.
  2. Pulse to get things moving and then with machine whirling slowly drizzle in olive oil. Scrape down sides as needed.
  3. Transfer to a jar and secure tightly with a lid.
  4. Will keep for up to a week in fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.

To make pasta:

  1. Boil and salt a large pot of water. Cook pasta till al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.  
  2. While pasta is cooking make the sauce.
  3. Heat olive oil and chili flakes in a large pan. Add in onion and saute for several minutes. 
  4. Add mushrooms and garlic and saute until mushrooms start to soften and garlic is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add in vegan sausage. Cook sausage with mushrooms for several minutes and then add in chickpeas. Toss to combine.
  6. Once pasta is cooked, drain (don’t forget to reserve the pasta water), rinse, and toss into sausage mixture. Add in pesto and stir. Add a splash of water. The water helps emulsify the pasta and make it creamy as well. Finally, add the watercress and shaved parmesan. Season with salt and cracked pepper and serve in bowls.  Finish with olive oil and more shaved parmesan.


Find more of Teri-Ann’s recipes on her website and Instagram (@terianncarty).


Simply Pasta: Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Recipe, text, and photography by Teri-Ann Carty.

If you loved this vegan sun-dried tomato pesto pasta recipe, you might also like…

Simply Pasta: Vegan Coconut Mushroom Carbonara

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bolognese

Creamy Vegan Italian Pasta Salad



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