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What to Cook Tonight: Pesto ‘Pasta’

Rosa Rigby’s Pesto ‘Pasta’

Serves 4

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.

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.

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

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