I go to school as you’ll know if you’ve read many of my other posts and am a busy person who also has a busy life outside busy school… so I ‘don’t have much time to cook’. I’ll rephrase that. I choose to do other things in my free time. But at the moment I’m on exam leave and wanted to do something different to sitting at my desk all day and decided to cook an evening meal.
I was walking through Waitrose one day last week and saw the recipe cards that I always pick up when I see them. This one really caught my eye, mainly because I saw it had pesto in and I love pesto! The link to the recipe is here so you can see the original unedited version here if you want!
You will need
- 250g Asparagus (Evesham, Worcestershire is a national producer)
- 3 tbsp olive oil, and a bit extra for frying
- 400g wholewheat spaghetti (wholewheat is more substantial and keeps you fuller longer)
- 25g fresh basil
- 25g flat leaf parsley (you can use curled leaf but flat leaf has a stronger flavour, and why wouldn’t you want to taste the parsley?!)
- 100g garlic stuffed green olives (drain them first)
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 40g Parmigiano Reggiano
- Add basil, parsley, pine nuts and the cheese in a ‘whizzer’ (food processor) and whizz together. Don’t cut too much so there is a bit of crunch.
- Then add the oil to the processor and whizz a bit more. The pesto should be quite oily so it mixes well with the spaghetti, so if you need, add more oil!
- Put in a bowl and keep in fridge till you need it.
- Wash and cut asparagus in half. the top half, with the ‘bud’, is the softest and juiciest part to eat – the further down the stalk, the more woody it gets.
- Put asparagus in a bag in the fridge.
- These steps can be done a few hours before and kept for dinner time!
- Boil the kettle full of water.
- Put a splash of oil in a frying pan, gently heat then place asparagus onto it and turn the heat up. If you have a ‘frying pan hood’ or a lid place it over the pan as the oil may spit (and it’s very hot!)
- Pour boiled water into a pan and add 400g spaghetti. The water needs to be well covering it. When the water is simmering, set the timer for 8 – 10 minutes, until soft.
- Watch the asparagus and every so often turn the pieces over until soft and slightly brown, ‘charred’.
- During the cooking, grate some cheese into a small bowl for decorating the bowls.
- When asparagus and spaghetti is ready, add pesto into spaghetti and mix.
- Put out into 4 soup bowls. We used Portmerion Soup Bowls, but any type of bowl or plate will do!
- Arrange asparagus on top and sprinkle generously with Parmigiano Reggiano, then a grind of black pepper.
- Serve with ice cold water.
That may sound like a lot of steps, but I’ve tried to break it down as much as I can and add a few tips of my own that I found helped me! We all really enjoyed it – even my sister who was very skeptical about trying something new.
I will definately be making this again, and look forward to trying more recipes for dinner in the future!
Have fun cooking (or just dreaming of nice food) and relax! 🙂