​Oil Free Pistou with Pasta

Yields: 4 servings


  • 14 oz. short pasta
  • 14 oz. green beans, cut in half or into thirds
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 large bunches of basil (each 3 oz.), roughly chopped
  • ¼ avocado
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pine nut “parmesan” (optional, see recipe, below)

Pine-Nut "Parmesan"

  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder (optional)
  • 3 Tbs. nutritional yeast


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in plenty of boiling water. Bring another pot of water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes with the lid on, and after 3 to 4 minutes, add the broccoli, then drain and let sit.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pistou. Put the basil, avocado, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tsp. salt in a blender and add about ¼ cup of water. Process until smooth. Add more water a tsp. at a time if it needs loosening.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving 3 Tbs. of the cooking water. Add the vegetables, pistou and reserved cooking water (it will make your pasta creamier) to the pasta and mix so the pasta is evenly coated. Serve immediately.

To Make the "Parmesan"
In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, garlic powder, if using, and yeast with ½ tsp. of sea salt; pulse until a grated Parmesan-like consistency is formed.

When you substitute a vegan-based cheese, like the pine nut ‘parmesan,’ for a dairy-based one, you cut out excess fat and salt but still get the desired flavor. Meanwhile, the broccoli and green beans in this recipe provide antioxidants, nutrients, fiber and immunit-boosting health benefits.” —Julene Stassou, registered dietitian and author of The Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution, Englewood Cliffs

Categories: Bergen Health & Life