Spring green, courgette and pesto pasta

You may have noticed there are some things missing from my posts of late.  Unusually for an aspiring cooking blog these things are recipes.  Now, during the very short time I’ve been doing this I’ve decided that recipe writing is a bit tedious.  This is good – it means I’m still learning about my myself.  It is rather unfortunate on the other hand since I’m trying to write a food blog.  For the reader, I guess it’s a bit like listening through a joke only to have the person get up and leave the room before delivering the punchline.  And so I’m going to make more of an effort to write out the recipe.

For this pasta dish I mashed a couple of recipes together again simply because I didn’t have enough ingredients to make one or the other but this time it worked. I have in front of me ‘Courgette and lemon pasta with parmesan’ from the October 2006 issue of SHE magazine (I know! 2006!) and I have ‘Kale and cashew pesto pasta’ from The New Easy by the wonderful Donna Hay.

I used spring greens instead of kale because I had half a bag leftover.  I didn’t want the commitment of buying a fresh bag of anything to make up the numbers because then I’d be left with another half a bag and then it turns into a vicious circle.  I did have courgette from a failed attempt to prepare ahead my work dinner for last week so I used that to make up the numbers.  I had in mind to roast some vegetables to eat in a wrap during the week.  But as per usual I just couldn’t be bothered to put it together.  Thankfully I managed to repurpose a courgette for this recipe.

I used basil instead of parsley because we have a glut of the stuff at the moment.  I’ll say that the spring greens weren’t as tasty as kale but the basil was a worthy replacement for the parsley.  The recipe requires the courgette to be grated.  Presumably, this is what people did in 2006 to make vegetables thin before spiralisers were invented.  After the courgette has been grated it’s stirred through the pasta .  If you’re thinking the courgette will cool the pasta down too much then don’t.  And don’t think that cooking the courgette first will make it better.  It won’t.  What you’ll get instead is a watery mushy mess which no one will want to eat.  Here’s my mashed up version of the recipe.

Spring green, courgette and cashew pesto pasta

Serves 2

150g spaghetti

1 medium courgette


100g shredded spring greens (or kale) thick stems removed

handful of basil leaves

1 garlic clove chopped

50g roasted salted cashews

20g parmesan grated (more if you like it cheesy)

60 ml extra virgin olive oil

Juice and zest of half a lemon

Fresh ground black pepper

If you’re a bit slow in the kitchen like me start making the pesto first and then cook the pasta so it doesn’t go cold.  If you’re a whiz make the pesto while the pasta is cooking.  Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.  Put the spring greens and basil in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add the garlic, cashews, lemon juice and zest, parmesan, oil and black pepper and pulse until chopped and combined.  Grate the courgette.  Toss the pesto and courgette through the pasta.  I find tongs are best for doing this to ensure no one gets grumpy due to unequal pesto distribution.  Eat immediately!


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