Veg pesto pasta puts a fab twist on a classic pesto recipe – as well as using basil, it’s got broccoli, peas, courgette and spinach in it which give it a really lovely flavour and a 5-a-day boost. You can have this recipe on the table in 25 minutes which makes it a good midweek choice. It’s almost as speedy as it would be to use pesto out of a jar, except it’s healthier and you know exactly what’s going into the food you’re going to eat. It’s a really fab way of getting more veg into your children’s diet without them necessarily knowing it. Everyone at home will love this recipe, especially if you grate some Parmesan over the top – you’ll find yourself making it time and time again.
- 100g broccoli florets
- 65g frozen peas
- 1 small courgette, grated
- 50g baby spinach leaves
- 50g basil leaves, plus extra to serve, if you like
- 50g Parmesan cheese
- 175ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- Zest and juice 1 lemon and1 lime
- 50g pine nuts, plus extra to serve
- 400g fusilli lunghi pasta
- 225g cherry tomatoes
- 60g pitted black olives, halved
Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the broccoli and cook for 1 min, then add the peas. Cook for 1 more min, then drain and rinse under cold water. Blitz the broccoli, peas, courgette, spinach and basil in a food processor with the Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, lemon and lime zest and juice, and the pine nuts until smooth. Add a splash of cold water if the consistency is too thick.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, drizzle the tomatoes with oil and pop them under a hot grill for 5 mins or until just about to burst.
Take your pan off the heat, stir the cherry tomatoes, olives and about half of the pesto into the drained pasta. Don’t heat the pesto, it tastes lovely and fresh as it is.
Top tip for making Zesty 4-veg pesto pasta
Keep any leftover pesto in the fridge for up to three days and use as a spread on warm Italian bread