- large bunch basil, leaves picked, keep the stalks
Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 2 garlic cloves
- 250g bundle asparagus, trimmed
Labour-intensive to grow, asparagus are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant. They're…
- 250g pack cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)
A favourite in 1970s British salads (cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root…
- 400g pappardelle or your favourite long pasta
- 100g sharp Cheshire cheese, crumbled
- 2 tbsp pine nut, toasted
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put the basil stalks and most of the leaves into the bowl of a food processor. Add the oil and garlic plus a splash of water, then whizz to a rough paste. Put the asparagus at one end of a roasting tin and the beetroot at the other. Season well, then rub with about 1 tbsp of the basil mix. Roast for 7-10 mins until the asparagus starts to caramelise and is cooked, but still firm.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to pack instructions. Add half the cheese to the basil mix and whizz again to make a cheesy pesto. Season to taste. Drain the pasta, then toss with the pesto, remaining cheese, pine nuts and vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining basil leaves to serve.