5-minute green pesto pasta

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Green pesto pasta recipe

Let me preface this recipe by saying I love green pesto.

I don’t love it because it’s versatile, and can be stirred through mayo to dress a salad or smear on a sandwich. I don’t love it because it keeps nicely when refrigerated or frozen.

I love it because my son loves it and it takes 5 minutes to prepare.

By the time the water for the pasta has boiled my green pesto pasta is ready and we’re good to dine, in a messy green fashion. This can be dolloped onto grilled fish or chicken, or stirred through freshly boiled potatoes with a squeeze of lemon. Basically, take what’s in the fridge and fancy it up with green stuff. Works on kids and husbands.

Traditionally, pesto is basil with a few other bits thrown in for excitement, but I’ve discovered that with enough basil and parmesan you can disguise most green vegetables, so it’s a brilliant way to get in some sneaky veg.

Raw food is incredibly important for the human body so I often don’t bother cooking what I blitz, although if you wanted to blanch quickly, that works too.

If you’re all freaky on wheat there are many alternatives available at the supermarket these days – quinoa, rice and corn is a great combo that has fabulous nutritional qualities. Cooking times are different though so beware of the crunchy penne dilemma and be sure to read cooking instructions.

On busy weeknights I buy some good quality spinach and ricotta ravioli and crisp up some pancetta and serve this for dinner. It’s seriously so fast and easy, and most importantly, yummy.

NOTE : If basil is too expensive or strong tasting for your kids, you can substitute parsley or rocket. The added bonus of this is a monster iron hit, too.

Green pesto pasta

Serves: 2 for dinner or many for snacking
Prep time: 5 minutes

Can be frozen in portions in freezer for a couple of weeks. Then it’s even easier than easy!

  • 2 big handfuls fresh, yummy basil
  • 1 handful or rocket or baby spinach
  • 50g good quality parmesan
  • 30g nuts – pine nuts, almonds and walnuts work for me
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Small handful of choice of green veg – sugar snap peas, broccoli, zucchini combo
  • 90ml good olive oil
  • Penne or other pasta or grain to serve

1. Place all ingredients into a food processor, or blender or container to blitz with hand held blender thingy. Basically, smoosh it all together until it forms a paste. You want it to be luscious, not gluggy so add a little water, if needed, until it’s like a thick sauce.

2. Meanwhile, boil the pasta. At the last minute I also throw into my pasta water some cubed carrots and cauliflower as this gets devoured when green.

3. Drain pasta, add a couple of spoons of pesto and serve. You can also add tinned tuna, cooked chicken, cherry tomatoes or whatever you have for variety on the theme.

Click here for more of Danielle’s recipes.

Written by Danielle Colley

Danielle Colley is a a Sydney-based writer and integrative coach who lives with her two fabulously rascally kids, her amazing (and only occasionally irritating) partner, and a herd of cats. At Your Good Life Danielle teaches people how live a happier, more content and more badass life.

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