1/2 cup raw cashews (you could also try toasted pine nuts, walnuts, etc.)
8 cups loosely packed spinach leaves (8 oz.)
1 small bunch basil, thick stems removed
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 tsp salt scant
pepper to taste
8 oz. pasta (chickpea pasta works well)
1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil, and cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Do not rinse.
Add the cashews to your food processor and pulse a few times until crumbled.
Add the spinach, basil, nondairy milk, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and continue to pulse, stopping to stir and scrape the sides if needed, until the spinach and basil are finely chopped.
Add more lemon juice to taste if desired, and set aside.
In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and a sprinkle of salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened and browning slightly. (Note: to save time, you can begin this step while the pasta is still cooking).
Add the garlic and cook for just about 60 seconds more, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, and pesto and fold everything together gently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly and clings to the pasta, and is warm throughout. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm.