This is a perfect mid-week dish when you really couldn’t be bothered going to too much effort but want something flavoursome. While in lockdown (damn you Corina-virus) my access to supermarkets was limited and Lidl became my go-to store for groceries. While the brand selection is limited you often come across a limited gem such as the pasta I used in this dish. It’s from their deluxe brand and has a seasoning sachet along with it. I found the seasoning overpowering, but used ½ tsp for this recipe. It’s effectively Italian seasoning, if you want to swap that in instead.
I made a batch of the pesto. It can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Serves 2 people
200g tub sundried tomatoes
50g parmesan (preferably from a block)
20g pine nuts
Juice of half a lemon
2 cloves garlic
Two sprigs of basil, leaves removed and stem chopped roughly
100 ml of olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Note: use 3 tbsp of the pesto mixture
Pasta & Sauce
80g of pasta
2 litres of water
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp Italian seasoning
Garnish- 5 green olives chopped, 1 sprig of basil (leaves only), 1 sliced red chilli, grated parmesan
1. Bring the water to the boil with the salt. As cooking times vary for each pasta type, take a look at the cooking times on the packet and reference those. It should take around 10 minutes to cook to al dente.
2. While the pasta is cooking, you can start the pesto. Chuck all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. If the consistency is too thick, add a little splash more of olive oil and pulse it through. You could use more lemon juice but need to be careful that it doesn’t become too tart. Taste it and adjust the seasoning to your palate. Remove from the blender and set aside.
3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain but keep a little bit of the cooking liquid aside.
4. Add the oil to the pan you just cooked the pasta in and add the onion. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle in the seasoning and cook for a minute or so.
5. Stir in the pesto and cook off for 5 minutes. Add the leftover cooking liquid to loosen up the sauce.
6. Stir in the pasta.
7. Garnish with the olives, basil, chili and some grated parmesan
I’m more of a white wine lover but I’m getting more adventurous with the reds. I paired this with CAMPO DE BORJA BORSAO GARNACHA 2018. I got it from Eurospar, if you fancied giving it a try. It has a hint of spiciness which holds its own against the bold flavours of the pesto and chilli garnish.