I like to have a vegetarian dinner at least once a week. It has taken some time to get Marc and board which means I try to do something hearty and full of flavours we both enjoy when I cook vegetarian.

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin & Rocket | rachaelsfoodielife.com

The interesting thing about this meal is that Marc doesn’t really like basil and he isn’t a huge pumpkin fan either. Whereas I love pumpkin and basil.

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin & Rocket | rachaelsfoodielife.com

That being said Marc loved this pasta, I used Jamie Oliver’s pesto recipe from his new super food book and it makes a HUGE batch of pesto (which I love) I like to store it in the freezer as he suggests and that way I can always have homemade pesto on hand for anything I need. This pesto is much more creamy than most others I’ve tried which I think is due to the addition of almonds.

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin & Rocket | rachaelsfoodielife.com

Then add those vibrant chunks of sweet roasted pumpkin, fresh rocket to lighten it and shave some Parmesan on top and you’ve got a bowl full of flavour packed delicious pasta on your hands.

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin & Rocket | rachaelsfoodielife.com

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin and Rocket

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 kg pumkin, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

500g spiral pasta

2 portions pesto

60g rocket

Parmesan to serve

Pesto

Makes 8 portions

100g Parmesan cheese

1 big bunch of basil (around 60g)

1 garlic clove.

50g pine nuts

50g almonds

1/2 a lemon

50ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Place the chunks of pumpkin in a roasting tray, add freshly ground salt and pepper and the olive oil, mix well, spread into an even layer and roast for 30 minutes.

While the pumpkin is cooking, place a large pasta pot over heat with at least 5 litres of water and a good tablespoon of rock salt, put the lid on a bring to the boil. Tip all of the pasta in and cook until al dente.

Drain the pasta well and reserve a cup of the cooking water. tip the pasta back into the saucepan, add the pesto and mix gently adding some of the reserved water if needed to help the pesto mix well.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and tip into the pasta, gently mix together. The pumpkin will break up a little but thats ok. Add all of the rocket and mix again.

Spoon into bowls, shave over some parmesan and grind a little extra pepper over the top, and enjoy!

Super-quick Big Batch Pesto – Jamie Oliver’s Super Food Family Classics

Break the Parmesan into a food processor. Rip in the leafy basil, discard only the tougher base of the stalks. Peel and add the garlic, tip in the pine nuts and almonds, squeeze in the lemon juice and pour in the oil, Blitz until you reach a fairly fine consistency.

This pesto will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, and it freezes brilliantly. The easiest thing to do is roll up the pesto in grease proof paper to make a log, then scrunch the ends like a cracker. Pop it into the freezer for about 2 hours, then before it gets to hard, remove, unwrap and slice into 8 portions. Reshape, roll it back up and pop-it back into the freezer – it’ll be good for 3 months. To use from frozen, simply defrost overnight in the fridge, or whack it straight in the pan to melt.

 

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