Tagliatelle with Walnut Pesto and Spinach
This one is for those of you who want to improve their chopping skills! You can also use an old faithful in the kitchen – the blender. The pesto in this recipe is not like your usual one – it has less oil added and so is a little chunky but that adds a good texture. It is a very easy mid week meal.
For the pesto
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
3 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
A small bunch of mint leaves, roughly chopped
A small bunch of parsley, toughly chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g baby spinach, washed and trimmed
1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish
- To make the pesto, place the sliced garlic, walnuts, mint, parsley and lemon zest and juice and oil into a food processor and blend to a rough paste.
- Cook the tagliatelle according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the package. When the pasta is cooked, drain, retaining 2 tbsp of cooking liquid, stir in the baby spinach leaves until it has wilted.
- Spoon in the walnut pesto, as well as the roasted red peppers and toss well. You may need to add a little cooking liquid if you think it is too dry.
- Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Tip: Stir strips of chargrilled lemon chicken into the pasta.
Parsnip, Leek and Thyme Tarte Tatin
This is delicious served with roast beef for Sunday lunch. Add a few cherry tomatoes as well into the topping and serve for lunch.
For the pastry
260g plain flour
130g chilled butter, diced
1 tsp chopped thyme
Pinch of salt
1 egg and 1 yolk, beaten
For the topping
2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced into chunks
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 egg, beaten
Thyme sprigs, to garnish
- For the pastry, place the flour in a large mixing bowl, rub in the butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the thyme and a little salt. Stir in some of the egg to form a soft pastry. Wrap in parchment and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Generously brush a round gratin dish with butter.
- Place the parsnips in a medium saucepan with lightly salted water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until just tender. Drain.
- Heat a medium frying pan with a little butter and olive oil over a medium to low heat, add the leeks and sauté for 8 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, heat another frying pan with a little butter and olive oil over a medium heat and add the cooked parsnips, caramelize until just golden.
- Arrange the parsnips in the base of the gratin dish, drizzle over some honey and a little thyme. Spoon the leeks in and sprinkle over a little chopped thyme.
- Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to fit the gratin dish leaving an extra 2cm edge for tucking in.
- Lift the pastry onto the vegetables, neatly tuck in the edges. Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Leave to stand for 3 to 4 minutes. Slide a flat bladed knife around the edge to loosen the pastry. Place a plate on top of the gratin dish and turn out. Sprinkle with thyme sprigs and serve.
Tip: Parsnips are not only for savoury tarts and pies so add a few plum halves with the parsnips, omit the leeks and drizzle with maple syrup instead of honey and serve with orange mascarpone.