Vegan Pesto South Philly Style


In South Philly, there is a spot on the Italian Market called Claudio’s. It might be the best pesto I have ever tried. When I was vegetarian, no trip to the Italian Market was complete without bringing home some pesto, or a used book or two from Molly’s Bookstore. I still visit Molly’s, she sells some awesome cookbooks, but as a vegan, I stand clear from the temptations of Claudio’s.

Delicious pesto contains¬†Parmesan cheese. And that’s obviously a vegan no-no. One can always make a pesto without the cheese, but the cheese was added for a reason, simply that it taste better with it added. The recipe below is my attempt at veganizing pesto using Claudio’s pesto as the inspiration.


  • Basil – 2 cups
  • raw pine nuts – 1/4 cup
  • raw cashews – 1/4 cup
  • Nutritional yeast – 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (the more garlic the merrier)


In a blender or food processor, mix all of these ingredients. Add salt to taste.

Serving suggestions

Mix into pasta, such as fusilli or any thing ribbed so the pesto attaches well to the pasta.

This is a simple recipe that is rather delicious. This serves as a very quick meal, but can also be a nice to serve with guests and accompanied with a nice soft bottle of white wine.

Happy Veganing

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