‘Nearly Pesto’ Pasta

21st August 2013

The summer is flying by, and I’ve been meaning to post this for a while.  However, Italy, skiing, and bad internet connection have all provided enough of an (enjoyable) distraction that I haven’t gotten around to it.  

OK, no more excuses – here is a simple pasta recipe that I made last time I went home.  It’s like a tangy, lighter version of home made pesto. First stop – the greenhouse, for fresh basil. 12 The warm, tomato-ey smell of the greenhouse is one of my favourite things. 1 2 3 Basil in hand, I returned to the kitchen to prepare the rest of the ingredients. 13 For this pasta sauce, you’ll need:

  • Parmesan or other hard cheese – I used one I found in the fridge and can’t remember the name of – will update!
  • Pine nuts
  • Basil
  • Lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Cream (if you like dairy)
  • Tomatoes, courgettes and so on can be used as a side salad if you fancy it – or you could mix them into the pasta.  Options!

(I’m sorry I haven’t included quantities – that’s because I didn’t really use them.  Just go for a ‘good handful’ of everything, and adjust to taste).


Grind up the pine nuts with a pestle & mortar, and then throw in some more whole ones for a bit of diversity in the texture.  Add the parmesan to the nuts as well.



Chop your beautiful fresh basil…


And then grate the rind of a lemon and throw the whole lot in with the nuts and cheese.


(My lemon is a bit pink because it got up close and personal with a pomegranate.  But no harm done.)


A nice big slosh of olive oil and a squeeze of the lemon – and there you are.  The next picture isn’t that pretty but it’s what it looks like.  It tastes fab though.


You can set that on one side or in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.  When you are, boil up some fresh pasta – don’t forget to add a bit of oil and a pinch of salt to the water.


Put the cooked pasta into a serving dish and pour the sauce mixture on top of it, then toss it all together.


You can add more basil and ground pepper on top to serve.  I also sloshed in a little bit of cream.

Everyone to the table!  




Glass of wine?



I think someone was a bit jealous…



3 thoughts on “‘Nearly Pesto’ Pasta

  1. Pingback: Lemon Avocado Pesto over Angel Hair Pasta | The 9-5 Vegan:

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