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Quick basil pesto + pesto and greens pasta

There are only a few things more joyous than watching a homegrown kitchen herb garden give a bountiful, fragrant harvest. Eating it is one of them – the caterpillars should now as for the last two of my three attempts at growing one they managed to get to my basil long before me…

This time I somehow managed to rid of them or simply they just got bored eating the same thing for weeks and left. Either way, as I was plucking  the leaves off my beautiful plant I thought the best way to use them would be to have them fresh – unspoilt by cooking, with some gorgeous French walnut oil, in a pesto!

While the pasta can be enjoyed warm straight after cooking, it also makes for a lovely summer salad when chilled, making it a great candidate for a lunchbox.

Serves 2

Basil pesto pasta

Pesto [from scratch]

  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil // or light olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper

Pasta

Tip: Sundried or cherry tomatoes go just as well with this dish if you prefer a vegetarian version.

  • 1 quantity pesto
  • 60g penne pasta // or gluten free variety
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 100g broccoli florettes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/4 barbecue chicken
  • squeeze of lemon juice

To make pesto, place basil, crushed garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle or a small food processor and grind until it resembles a paste. Add pine nuts, crush then mix in with oil and grated cheese. Season with pepper to taste.

To make the pasta, boil penne according to packet instructions (generally drop pasta into a pot of salted boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes. Then drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process). In the meantime, pick meat off the quarter chicken and chop roughly, discard skin and bones. Slice zucchini and ‘chargrill’ lightly in a small frypan along with the broccoli.

Combine pesto, fresh baby spinach leaves, grilled zucchini and chicken with pasta and stir well to coat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.  Serve warm or chilled as a salad.

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3 comments

Thell them you love them with food | Wholesome Cook February 12, 2011 at 7:36 am

[…] Quick basil pesto + pesto and greens pasta  […]

Reply
Beetroot and Basil Pesto Insalata Caprese « Wholesome Cook May 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm

[…] total weight would be just fine. Basil pesto from a jar is fine, or you could make your own using this quick pesto recipe, just omit the cheese. Leftovers are great for mixing through pasta or as a topping for […]

Reply
7 Quick Barbecue (Rotisserie) Chicken Recipe Ideas for Everyday Meals « Wholesome Cook June 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm

[…] it’s a grilled vegetable salad that needs a little padding, a pesto pasta salad or a an Asian coleslaw, barbecue chicken can be a great addition to […]

Reply

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