Let me preface this recipe by saying I love green pesto.
I don’t love it because it’s versatile, and can be stirred through mayo to dress a salad or smear on a sandwich. I don’t love it because it keeps nicely when refrigerated or frozen.
I love it because my son loves it and it takes 5 minutes to prepare.
By the time the water for the pasta has boiled my green pesto pasta is ready and we’re good to dine, in a messy green fashion. This can be dolloped onto grilled fish or chicken, or stirred through freshly boiled potatoes with a squeeze of lemon. Basically, take what’s in the fridge and fancy it up with green stuff. Works on kids and husbands.
Traditionally, pesto is basil with a few other bits thrown in for excitement, but I’ve discovered that with enough basil and parmesan you can disguise most green vegetables, so it’s a brilliant way to get in some sneaky veg.
Raw food is incredibly important for the human body so I often don’t bother cooking what I blitz, although if you wanted to blanch quickly, that works too.
If you’re all freaky on wheat there are many alternatives available at the supermarket these days – quinoa, rice and corn is a great combo that has fabulous nutritional qualities. Cooking times are different though so beware of the crunchy penne dilemma and be sure to read cooking instructions.
On busy weeknights I buy some good quality spinach and ricotta ravioli and crisp up some pancetta and serve this for dinner. It’s seriously so fast and easy, and most importantly, yummy.
NOTE : If basil is too expensive or strong tasting for your kids, you can substitute parsley or rocket. The added bonus of this is a monster iron hit, too.
Green pesto pasta
Serves: 2 for dinner or many for snacking
Prep time: 5 minutes
Can be frozen in portions in freezer for a couple of weeks. Then it’s even easier than easy!
- 2 big handfuls fresh, yummy basil
- 1 handful or rocket or baby spinach
- 50g good quality parmesan
- 30g nuts – pine nuts, almonds and walnuts work for me
- 1 clove garlic
- Small handful of choice of green veg – sugar snap peas, broccoli, zucchini combo
- 90ml good olive oil
- Penne or other pasta or grain to serve
1. Place all ingredients into a food processor, or blender or container to blitz with hand held blender thingy. Basically, smoosh it all together until it forms a paste. You want it to be luscious, not gluggy so add a little water, if needed, until it’s like a thick sauce.
2. Meanwhile, boil the pasta. At the last minute I also throw into my pasta water some cubed carrots and cauliflower as this gets devoured when green.
3. Drain pasta, add a couple of spoons of pesto and serve. You can also add tinned tuna, cooked chicken, cherry tomatoes or whatever you have for variety on the theme.