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Bucatini Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes. A fast and flavorful weeknight dinner recipe that can be made in 30 minutes. Healthy and Vegan!
Before you go thinkin’ …. another recipe for pesto pasta? Let me assure you, this is not any regular old pesto that we’ve all had a million times before. This pesto will rock your world. It’s actually a little catering secret I’ve been waiting to share with you for a while now. The pesto, besides being vegan, is made without pine nuts – it’s actually made with smoked almonds. Not regular almonds, SMOKED almonds.
It’s something we’ve began using in our catering business because of pine nut allergies – but the flavor of the smoked almonds ended up giving the pesto so much depth and unexpected flavor, I’ve never looked back. Lemon brightens the dish to perfection and paired with the mini heirloom tomatoes, it’s a delicious combination. Best of all, it can be made in 20 minutes flat –and the leftovers are perfect for lunches during the week.
Bucatini, if unfamiliar, is a hearty, tube-shaped pasta noodle. Here locally it can be found at the Rocket Market on the South Hill. But if you can’t find it, don’t let it stop you from making this – spaghetti, linguine or any pasta will work great too.
The smoked almonds, however, are required. They usually come in a can and are salted.
Keep the bucatini pasta vegan, or add a little grated romano cheese. Top with lemon zest…and inhale.
For even more smoky flavor you could add smoked cheese to the pesto ( see notes).
This recipe for bucatini makes a GIANT BATCH, so think about halving it if on your own, or use the leftovers for mid-week lunches – it keeps well.
Delicious summers flavors that will delight the palate.
I hope you enjoy the Bucatini Pasta! Have a great weekend ….and see you all next week.
For more healthy, veggie-focused pasta dishes, take a look at these!
Bucatini with Arugula Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Main, vegan, pasta
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Italian
Bucatini Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes. A fast and flavorful weeknight dinner recipe. This Healthy pasta is Vegan!
- 16 ounces Bucatini Pasta ( or use linguini, spaghetti, etc)
- 1/2 cup smoked almonds ( they usually come in a can)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups basil leaves, packed
- 2 cups arugula, packed
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Garnish with: mini heirloom tomatoes ( sliced in half), grated romano cheese ( optional) lemon zest… SEE NOTES!
- Cook pasta according to directions on the package.
- Make the pesto. In a food processor, place garlic, and almonds. Pulse 4-5 times. Add basil, arugula and pulse a few more times. Add oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Process until combined, but not too smooth, a little texture is good here.
- Toss with drained warm pasta.
- Garnish with: mini heirloom tomatoes ( sliced in half), grated romano cheese ( optional) and a little lemon zest, fresh arugula leaves.
- NOTES: The pesto will taste salty and slightly bitter on its own. Don’t worry. Once it mixes with the pasta, it will all balance out to perfection. The pasta will soak up some of the salt. 🙂
- If you want this extra smokey, add small diced pieces of smoked cheese to the pesto (like smoked cheddar or smoked gouda).
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 475
- Sugar: 2.2 g
- Sodium: 314.8 mg
- Fat: 31.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 44.4 g
- Fiber: 6.5 g
- Protein: 10.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: bucatini, bucatini pasta, bucatini recipe, bucatini pasta recipe, bucatini with pesto, bucatini vegan, arugula pesto, arugula almond pesto
We run a small guest house and always give this as the vegan/vegetarian option and everyone absolutely loves it.
Great to hear!
We moved to a whole food plant-based diet in January, and I was so sad to leave cheese and foods with cheese behind, including pesto. I had 18 basil plants in my garden last year, and we ate pesto all summer. We made this recipe, and WOW! I like it better than my classic pesto sauce. I can’t wait to make pesto with this new recipe all summer long. I would imagine it freezes well. I’ll give it a whirl. Thanks so much! Your vegan recipes have helped us make this transition a tasty one! We’ll never go back!
Thanks Jen- I love this one too! Glad you gave it a go!
Very nice recipe, I accidently bought peppery and zesty rocket so it turned out a bit strong I just added extra lemon juice, some chilli and salt to my liking. Will have to try again with normal rocket 🙂
Thanks Sophia, yes some can be extra spicy. Glad you were able to mellow it a bit!
I really love your recipes! They are fantastic! I made this recipe yesterday with diced pieces of vegan cheese. It was so delicious. Will definitely make this again!
Great ot hear!
This recipe is amazing. My young daughter is vegan and I am always looking for recipes that she will enjoy. She has been craving a good pesto and we were struggling to find one. The flavors in this dish were so fresh and came together beautifully. And it was so easy to make. This one will be a keeper in our regular rotation.
Tasted horrible! I followed the recipe to a T and it still tasted gross.
I wonder what happened Meagan- and sorry it didn’t work for you. If you can give more details that would be helpful.
Really simple and yummy¡
Can you tell me if the pesto can be made ahead. If so, how far ahead to still taste good? Thank you.
Yes, you can store it up to 3 days in the fridge. I would put it in a jar and squeeze a little lemon juice over it to help it stay bright green.
It seems wonderful– I can’t wait to try it out. Can you clarify which type of juice you refer to in the last ingredient prior to the garnishes? 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of juice, although what kind?
Lemon! Sorry about that!
Great! I will definitely try this soon! Great recipe!
We have a tree nut allergy in our family so I did sub the almonds with toasted pine nuts and otherwise followed the recipe.
It tastes very bitter – not salty as it disclosed.
The sauce is in the fridge for later tonight (1030am ct) but is there an accommodation I need to make for the pine nut – almond exchange?
Also some of the sauce will be over bucatini while some will be over zoodles –
Thanks very much
So the recipe just won’t be the same without that smoky flavor from the smoked almonds. They are also really salty. The smoked almonds really makes this dish special. You will have some adapting to do. Bitterness may come from the olive oil- some can be quite bitter.
You had that post about smoking mushrooms. Can you smoke almonds the same way?
That is such a great question- and I havent tried! But I love this idea!
What type of oil is best for this recipe? It looks delicious!
Olive oil- I updated the recipe, thanks for asking!!!
This is super yummy. Today I didn’t have any more smoked almonds so I used toasted pine nuts. It was still awesome. We sometimes toss in a few fresh sweet peas or arugula leaves at the end if we have some laying around. It’s a fav at home. Thanks for the amazing recipe.
Love it! thanks for sharing!
I tried using some smoked almonds in a pesto and pasta recipe last night. WOW! Those almonds really elevated the flavor up a notch or two. I can’t wait to try them in some other pesto dishes. Thanks
Yay!!! Glad you liked! I really enjoy them too. 😉
Girl how do you have time to do this blog, run your restaurant, and your catering company?! Hahaha. You’re a rockstar! This looks AMAZING and I want to make it tomorrow.
Awww thanks Tiffany- well I don’t have the restaurant any more- just catering and the blog. BTW, Your blog is looking really great- nice job!
Well this just looks WONDERFUL! Also your photography and presentation is so beautiful i love everything about it!
Wow! This looks very healthy and delicious. I’m bookmarking this one to try! Thanks.
thanks so much!