Pasta with pesto, asparagus & green beans

Traditionally, pesto is made from basil, EVO oil, Parmesan & pine nuts -it’s an ingenious way to use up your extra basil. I had some left-over from another lunch (though I did substitute pine nuts for walnuts, which worked really well). I had a fridge full of vegetables and the addition of a handful of french beans and some sticks of asparagus really took this dish up to another level!

 The simple ingredients for this lovely dish!

 

 The end product 

 

 

Recipe -

For the pesto:

  • ½ a clove garlic 

  • 1 big bunch of fresh basil 

  • 1 handful of walnuts (or any other nut you like)

  • 1 good handful of freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padana cheese 

  • extra virgin olive oil 

 

 

For the pasta sauce:

  • 100g pesto

  • 50g green beans

  • 50g asparagus

  • Grated Parmesan (if required)

Method -

For the pesto:

  1. Peel the garlic, then pound in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.

  2. Pick, roughly chop and add the basil leaves, then bash to a paste (or pulse in a food processor).

  3. Add the nuts (very lightly toast first, if you like) to the mixture and pound again, then stir in half the Cheese.

  4. Stir in some oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce.

  5. Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to perfection with salt and black pepper. Taste, and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

 

For the Sauce:

  1. Bring a pan full of salted water o the boil

  2. Add chopped beans & asparagus and boil for 2 minutes

  3. Add 160g tagliatelle to the vegetables and cook according to the packet directions

  4. Gently heat the pesto in a large pan and toss pasta and veg in this pan until coated with pesto, add a small amount of pasta boiling water to emulsify

  5. Serve with a grating of black pepper and some Parmesan 

 

 

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CATHERINE'S
COOKING TIPS

#1 

Shop local and try to use seasonal ingredients - they will be freshest and most economical

 

#2

Buy the best you can afford - even if it means making do with less.

 

#3

Keep it simple - and as unprocessed as possible.  Butter and E.V. Olive Oil over margarine, spreads and processed vegetable oils,