Tuesday, 30 August 2011

"Green" Pasta

So named because it uses green pesto and green vegetables! Ever since I tried pesto pasta in a Bella Pasta restaurant I've been hooked on pesto stirred through pasta. In my opinion the best pasta for this is spaghetti, but any can be used. For a healthy kick use wholewheat pasta. I'm afraid I've drawn a blank when it comes to remembering the exact amount of ingredients that I used, but in this sort of thing it's easy enough to wing it!

When I was shopping for this the vegetables in my local supermarket were buy one get one free, and had the last broccoli grabbed from right under my nose, so had to make do with what else they had, which were packs of tenderstem broccoli and baby courgettes together. It worked just fine. I also made the addition of low-fat cream cheese mainly to add some protein. It doesn't alter the taste, only makes the texture less 'slippery'.

Green Pasta

Serves 2

30 minutes cooking time if you're organised!

150g of dried spaghetti (75g per person is usually a good guide)

A jar of green pesto with enough for 2 generous tablespoons

Around 6 baby courgettes (I'm sure one large one will do fine)

A handful of tenderstem broccoli or half a crown of standard broccoli

100g of baby spinach

A clove of garlic, finely chopped or a teaspoon of minced garlic

150g low-fat cream cheese (optional)

A jar of sweet, pickled hot peppers for garnish (optional. Can also use pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes...)

Cheese for sprinkling on top (optional)

* Chop the broccoli into florets and courgettes into 1cm slices. Cook according to preference (I used a steamer)

* Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the spaghetti, cooking as per packet instructions (usually 8-10 minutes)

* When the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander and refresh under cold water. Set aside while heating some oil in a pan (if you haven't frid the veg previously). You can use the same pan that the pasta boiled in

* Lightly fry the broccoli, courgettes, spinach and garlic for a few minutes. Whilst frying, if you're using any garnish such as the peppers these can be chopped to the desired size

* Stir in the pasta and 2 tablespoons of pesto, ensuring the pasta is heated through. Then, if using, stir in the cream cheese and garnish

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