Pesto pasta is the go-to recipe for a filling meat-free dinner. The pasta and pesto are ready in a flash so if you're short on time just fry up some tomatoes to finish off the dish. If you've got longer, throw whatever vegetables you have to hand into a roasting dish with a bit of oil and a pinch of salt, the perfect way to use up any end of the week veg box leftovers.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 6)
For the pesto:
100g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
100g pine nuts (can be substituted for peanuts or cashews)
1 tsp black pepper
240g fresh parsley
40ml olive oil
For the pasta:
4-5 peppers of any colour, de-seeded
30ml rapeseed oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
800g whole wheat pasta
10g fresh basil
Preheat oven to 200°C. (If you're short on time fry some tomatoes in a pan and skip down to step 3.)
Quarter the peppers, slice the courgettes on an angle and slice the aubergines. Put all the vegetables in a roasting tray with a drizzle of oil and pinch of salt. Roast your veg in the hot oven for around 50 minutes.
Whilst the vegetables are in the oven get started on the pesto: place the pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, pepper, parsley and oil in a food processor and blitz to a paste.
When the vegetables are looking soft, golden and cooked through remove from the oven. At this point cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water for 6 minutes, then drain.
Cut the cooled vegetables into square pieces.
Return the cooked pasta to the pan, add the vegetables, pesto and rocket.
Stir and gently heat to warm through.
Portion and serve topped with basil and any leftover parmesan.