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Tag Archives: pesto

Pasta with Pesto and Spring Greens


This is a super easy pasta dish that you can make in a few minutes, including the pesto!

As its spring in Sydney, there are lots of lovely greens about, and nothing feels better than a bowl of pasta with a zingy pesto and just cooked green veggies.

The dish is versatile – you can choose your own pasta and selection of greens – even the pesto can be varied according to what you fancy.

My version has risoni pasta, sugar snap peas and asparagus, with a rocket (arugula) and walnut pesto. 

Spaghetti, fettuccine or penne for the pasta, broccolini or kale or any other greens for the veggies and traditional basil and pine nut pesto are all alternatives.

Lunch, dinner or supper, it’s a lovely bowl of fresh flavours.

Ingredients

Pesto 

50g walnuts

80g rocket 

50g parmesan

2 garlic cloves

150ml olive oil

1 cup risoni pasta

1 bunch fresh asparagus 

1 ½ cups sugar snap peas

Method 

For the pesto, place the walnuts, rocket, parmesan, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and blitz. I like my pesto still a little chunky, so I don’t over blitz. Season to taste with salt. 

This pesto is quite oily, so, if you’re not an oil fan, perhaps add ¾ of the oil at first, then add more if you think it needs it.

Cook the risoni pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water, for 8-10  minutes or until al dente.

Trim the asparagus ends. String the sugar snap peas, and slice some of them horizontally so that the peas are revealed.

Pile the risoni onto a plate. Spoon over some pesto, and scatter the asparagus and sugar snap peas on top. Drizzle a little more pesto over the veggies.

I don’t think the dish needs additional parmesan, but feel free to add if you like. 

NB I added some beautiful roast garlic from last week’s visit to the Spring Harvest Festival.

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Salmon Fillet with Spaghetti and Pesto

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I love the the hot smoked salmon from the Orange Grove Markets in Lilyfield, as indeed I love all the produce there on a busy Saturday morning.

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This was my first visit in 2014. So I made spaghetti with pesto and served it with the flaked salmon fillet. I also made a simpler version just with spaghetti and simple green herbs, served with salad including roast golden beetroot.

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The recipe for pesto follows, very loosely based on a recipe of Jamie Oliver: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/pesto

The rest is just assembly – what you feel like at the time!

Pesto

Ingredients

•    1 handful pine nuts, very lightly toasted
•    1 clove garlic, chopped
•    A couple of grinds of sea salt
•    3 good handfuls fresh basil, leaves picked and chopped
•    1 good handful parmesan cheese, freshly grated
•    2-3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

Method

Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes until they colour and start to release their oil.

I lightly toast the chopped garlic cloves too in the frying pan –  but this is definitely not traditional.

Pulse the pine nuts, garlic, salt and the basil leaves in a food processor.  Don’t over process. Add the parmesan. Spoon into a bowl and gently stir in the extra virgin olive oil – add  enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Check for seasoning and consistency and add more oil if necessary.

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Rocket and Pecan Pesto Spaghetti with Avocado

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The theme is green: I needed an antidote to the “white” food I have been making…so much cake…

A simple dish that can be thrown together in minutes. The rocket and pecan pesto is lovely over any pasta, and is also great with some ricotta or yoghurt stirred through as a dip or on bruschetta.

Pesto and Pasta

Put  a couple of garlic cloves into the bowl of a food processor, with a good handful of pecans. Blitz until roughly processed. Add a cup or of rocket, blitz again.

Add a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil, blitz briefly, then add a handful of pecorino cheese. Check for flavour, and add ground rock salt. Continue to dribble in the olive oil, until the pesto is of a loose consistency so that it can be swirled through pasta.

Spoon over spaghetti or any pasta of choice. Add half a sliced avocado. I love Shepard avocados for their delicate flavour. The avocado can be gently mixed in to the pasta as you eat, adding a creamy texture.

Serve with shaved pecorino, E.V. olive oil, a few basil leaves and plenty of ground black pepper.

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