Exec Team Recipes: Leona’s Lemon Basil Pasta

As part of our team’s continuing commitment to sustainability in our everyday lives, we have launched a new series — Exec Team Recipes! On this blog, we’ll share our favourite vegan recipes. Enjoy!

By Leona Lam

This dish was the perfect add on to my Valentine’s Day evening. Considering my poor cooking skills, this was actually a very easy dish to accomplish alongside a few spills and a messy floor in the end. I am a passionate pasta lover and I know you can never go wrong – it was super fun to explore this vegan pasta recipe and I may include some add-ons next time. Disclaimer, I did alter the recipe to accommodate my little sister’s picky taste buds.  

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time:  25 minutes


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat pasta
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (I skipped this ingredient) 
  • 4 ounces arugula (a few handfuls)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • Lemon basil cashew cream sauce:

    • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • ½ lemon, juiced
    • 1 cup packed fresh basil
    • 1 cup water
    • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt


  1. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, generously salt the water. Add in the pasta and cook to al dente, according to package directions. About 2 minutes before the pasta is al dente, add the broccoli florets to the pot to cook with the pasta as the pasta finishes cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  2. Make the lemon basil cashew cream sauce: Add all listed ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Cook the veggies: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion and bell pepper. Season with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. (I found that it was way too salty, so I suggest only adding pepper and very little salt) Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften slightly, 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Finish the pasta: Once the veggies are ready, add the drained pasta & broccoli to the skillet. Pour the lemon basil cashew cream sauce over top. Toss to combine, adding a little of the reserved starchy pasta water as you go to reach your desired consistency. Taste and season additionally with salt or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, as desired. Serve immediately.