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Image / Living / Food & Drink

What to eat tonight: A healthy paleo spin on classic pesto pasta

Rosa Rigby shares her paleo pesto pasta, subbing in courgetti for the spaghetti and whipping up a quick, fresh sauce.


by Meg Walker
05th Feb 2021
pesto pasta

Pesto has always been one of my favourite things to add to chicken, to salads, on top of roasted vegetables, on pizzas – you name it, I’ve pestoed it! So a cheese-free pesto was one of the first things I made Paleo. Courgettes are an excellent source of potassium and hold their shape well when spiralised, making them both a healthy and versatile alternative to wheat pasta.

 

Rosa Rigby’s Pesto “Pasta”
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ½-1 garlic clove, to taste
  • 2 handfuls of pine nuts
  • 2 big handfuls of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • a handful of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 chargrilled red pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 courgettes
  • salt and black pepper, to season

 

Method

In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with some whole rock salt. The salt helps break it down into a paste.

Warm the pine nuts in a dry frying pan set over low heat. I find when they are warmed, they are easier to break down and release more flavour.

Add half to three-quarters of the pine nuts to the crushed garlic and set the rest aside for later. Crush to a paste. Add the basil to the pestle and mortar and grind to a paste. Add a little pepper to taste and once you are happy with the consistency of the paste, slowly add a little olive oil. The consistency of the pesto will depend on how much oil you add, and this is down to personal preference.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes, chargrilled pepper and remaining nuts to the pesto and stir through.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use. The oil acts as a preservative so depending how oil-laden you made your pesto, it should keep for 2 days and up to 1 week.

Spiralise the courgettes on the large noodle attachment. Preheat a large frying pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil (or a little water) over medium heat and add the courgetti. Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened but still al dente. Season with salt and stir through the pesto to serve.

 

Extracted from Perfectly Paleo by Rosa Rigby (Ryland Peters & Small, approx €18). Photography by Mowie Kay

 

 

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