We’ve got the perfect, healthy and easy to make summer lunch. A combination of fresh pesto, which literally translates from Italian as ‘crushed’ or ‘smashed’, and courgette spiraliser spaghetti. This recipe is amazingly adaptable and easy to put together; we’ve substituted pine nuts for cashews for an extra creamy sauce but you can get as creative as you like by trying seasonal ingredients and combinations: pistachio, walnuts, parsley and kale are all delicious alternatives. Our inspiration came from the fragrant bunches of sweet summer basil lining the stalls in Borough Market. Traditionally pesto is made with a mortar and pestle, but it works just as well, without the elbow grease, using a food processor. We had so much fun putting this dish together and especially so as we were making our own fresh ‘spiralised’ courgette spaghetti! You can use the spiraliser to make sweet potato ribbons, broccoli linguine and an endless variety of delicious salads.
For the pesto Sauce:
- 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup of cashews or pine nuts
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
For the roasted tomatoes:
- 150 g of mini-vine tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive
- balsamic vinegar (good quality)
- Maldon sea salt or another good quality salt
- 2-3 medium sized courgettes for spiralising
- grated cheese for serving
- a handful of basil leaves for serving
- chili flakes (optional)
Making the Pasta:
Choose medium sized courgettes and cut the ends off so you are left with a flat surface. Cut your vegetables in half if they are longer than 10cm.
Use your spiraliser or julienne peeler to create lovely vegetable pasta.
This dish is perfect served hot or cold. To serve hot simply pan fry the courgette spaghetti in a little olive oil for 1-2 minutes leaving them 'al dente’.
Making the Pesto Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or mortar and pestle, slowly drizzling in the olive oil until the desired consistency is achieved.
Roasting the tomatoes:
Toss the tomatoes in olive oil and season to taste. You can keep them whole and on the vine for a little theatre when serving or cut them in half. Using a little balsamic vinegar will bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes Bake on a lined oven tray for 8-10 minutes in a medium oven.
Assembling the dish:
Mix the pesto sauce through your pasta Top with the roasted tomatoes, a sprinkling of chilli flakes and basil leaves. Finish with shavings of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Mix the pesto sauce through your pasta Top with the roasted tomatoes, a sprinkling of chilli flakes and basil leaves. Finish with shavings of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Courgettes are 95% water so adding foods that will soak up excess moisture like cheese or breadcrumbs will absorb liquid and thicken your sauce.
- Store excess pesto in a sealed jar covered with a layer of olive oil to preserve freshness.