Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Broad Bean Pesto Pasta with Spring Vegetables

Springtime to me speaks fresh crunchy spring vegetables and fresh vibrant green home made pesto. I've tried to make this pesto a little healthier by using less oil and substituting a bit of vodka and a bit of vegetable stock. It's delicious, but a little dryer than if you'd chucked in a cup of olive oil. If you're not too fussed about  superoily pestos, then by all means increase the oil. This would be a great opportunity to use some of your basil pineapple infused vodka, which I did, to give it an even more basil-y kick. 


1 cup broad beans, boiled or steamed
1 cup basil leaves, torn
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 measure of vodka (30ml)
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp soy sauce

400g spiral pasta
2 handfuls green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
10 asparagus spears, woody ends removed and cut in half
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp capers

To Make
1. If you haven't already cooked the broad beans, do it now. Peel the skins off them and discard (to do this, make a small slit in the skin with a sharp knife and then squeeze gently until the bean inside pops out).
2. Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than in says on the packet (the instructions almost always tell you to cook it for too long). Check to make sure it is just perfectly cooked but with a little bit of bite to it. In the last minute of cooking the pasta add the green beans.
4. Turn off the heat and add the asparagus spears. Cover and leave for about 30 seconds.
5. Strain the pasta and return to the pan. Stir through the olive oil.
6. Add the pesto and capers and stir through. Return to the stove over a low heat and heat gently until it is hot enough to serve. You can season to taste with salt and pepper (although the soy sauce already provides some salt, so go easy).

Serves 4

Love home made pesto? Check out my Homemade Rocket Pesto.

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