It’s well worth making your own pesto – this one, with sweet red peppers and earthy walnuts, knocks spots off shop-bought jars.
SERVES 4 – 30 minutes
– 400g/14oz strozzapreti or casarecce pasta, or another short pasta shape.
– 100g/4oz walnuts.
– 3 roasted red peppers, roughly chopped.
– 25g/1oz Parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated, plus extra to garnish.
– 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped.
– large pack fresh basil, plus a few leaves to garnish.
– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
– 50g/2oz mascarpone.
Step 1:Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
Step 2:Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes. Add half the walnuts to the small bowl of a food processor or a hand chopper, along with the red peppers, Parmesan or veggie alternative, garlic, basil, oil and some seasoning. Whizz to a paste, adding a splash of water from the pasta if it is a little dry.
Step 3:Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan and set over a low heat. Add the pesto, mascarpone and 3–4 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water, then stir until the mascarpone has melted, adding a splash more pasta water if the sauce needs thinning.
Step 4:To serve, crush the remaining walnuts in your hand and scatter over the pasta with a few more basil leaves and some extra Parmesan or veggie alternative.
Note : PER SERVING 589 kcals, protein 19g, carbs 56g, fat 33g, sat fat 8g, fibre 1g, sugar 2g, salt 0.2g