Pasta Please - Peppers

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Another wintery, windy day here in Yorkshire.
Hope it's a bit nicer wherever you are!

I realised I haven't done a food post for quite some time.
Usually I try to show what we've grown at the Market Garden and what I'm making with it at home.
But sometimes we all have to turn to what's available in the supermarket or greengrocer combined with a tin or a jar or two to make a delicious, simple and healthy meal.
One of my favourite foods is pasta, comforting and filling, it always makes me happy.
Combining it with a homemade pesto is so quick and easy, we have it a couple of times a month.

Here is my recipe for spinach and walnut pesto pasta with roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes.
I'm linking this post into the second Pasta Please challenge hosted by Lisa at We Don't Eat Anything With A Face and Jac at Tinned Tomatoes, two great blogs stuffed full of vegetarian recipes and reviews.
I stopped making pesto with pine nuts a couple of years ago after I was inflicted with pine mouth, so I tend to use cashew nuts instead, but I'm also now trying to make it with other nuts.  
Walnuts are a great source of protein for vegetarians and combining it with spinach, provides us with a good old dose of iron too.
Before you ask, I don't use parmesan (it's not vegetarian), but instead use a vegetarian hard cheese which you can get in some supermarkets and online. I have however, listed the cheese in the recipe as parmesan. 

Ingredients (serves 4)

One 100g bag of baby spinach leaves
75g walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
75g parmesan, finely grated
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped very finely
Handful of basil leaves
2 red peppers or some slices from a jar of antipasti style peppers
Sundried tomatoes, as many as you like from the jar!


 (You can use your food processor for this, or alternatively use a pestle and mortar. I actually use both, making the pesto smoother in the food processor, but leaving some of the nuts a bit chunkier by using the pestle. It just adds texture).

Put spinach, basil, garlic, nuts into the processor. Add a big glug of the oil and pulse. You will need to add extra olive oil as it mixes in the processor. Repeat until you get a nice consistency, but make sure it's not too runny.
Transfer to large bowl and mix in the grated parmesan. (I also add in the chunkier nuts at this point).
Mix well.
Taste and season as required. You may also need to add extra cheese for flavour, but that's entirely up to you!

Boil up your pasta as per packet instructions. I like a bigger pasta for pesto, so rigatoni is perfect for me.
Drain and reserve a little of the cooking water. This helps to loosen the pesto a bit when stirring into the pasta. Pop pasta back into saucepan and then mix the pesto in.

You can now add your roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes.
I grilled my red peppers under a hot grill. Let the skins go black and then pop in a freezer bag.
Allow to cool for about 10 mins, then peel off skin.
Chop into slices and mix into the pasta.

Enjoy your meal! x


  1. This looks great :) I like the idea of using spinach instead of basil - I *love* basil but only really eat it in the summer, and this spinach version is definitely tempting. I'm sitting looking at the snow and blustery winds outside and thinking something similar would be a good idea tonight! Meredith x

  2. Gosh would like to eat that now please!

  3. Jen, this looks delicious, I could eat it right now! :) x

  4. oh my gosh this looks so good and i love pesto. I have to try this recipe. thank you!

  5. That looks great, will try. Like the idea of the spinach, I've only made it with basil before. Pine mouth!!!! We've had it here too - so awful! Lasted for days. I spent a long time looking at where e nuts were from but then gave up after having it again. I'd never thought of using cashew nuts which will be great for the texture. Windy and was snowy here in Scotland (just south of Glasgow). x

  6. yummy, I love homemade pesto... will have to try this recipe x

  7. That that looks so good! I will definitely try this, we all love pesto. Thank you for the recipe:)
    M xxx

  8. Yum, I love pesto pasta! That's what we're having for our dinner tomorrow (to be made with home made pesto from our neighbour). Col x

  9. Oh, it seems really delicious!!!

  10. This sounds delicious! Will have to try your recipe. I had never heard of "pine mouth" before but I think that has happened to me too, now that you mention it.

  11. Love the recipe!! I have everything except the walnuts so I am off to try your recipe (without the walnuts) Your photo's have made me so hungry!!!!

  12. Sounds gorgeous ... love spinach and walnuts ... Bee xx

  13. Yum! will definitely have to give this a try, my children love pasta (would have it everyday if they could) so always looking for a new recipe.

  14. Ooh, that looks amazing. Great photos too. Thanks for linking up xx

  15. This looks completely delicious Jen. Will be putting it to the test next week :) x

  16. Love this - it looks delicious. We get through loads of pesto (or "green pasta", as my two call it) but I don't often make it. But with spinach - yum. I love spinach, plus it's good for you. It might be a way I can sneak veg into fussy old Angus too...

    Gillian x

  17. Oh yum! Sounds delicious! xo


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I'll try to reply if you have a question, but sometimes life gets in the way! x

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