Walnut & red pepper pesto pasta
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 4
Homemade pesto knocks spots off shop-bought jars. This earthy blend is a new take on the versatile Italian sauce
- 400g strozzapreti or casarecce pasta , or another short pasta shape
- 100g walnut
- 3 roasted red peppers , roughly chopped
- 25g parmesan , or a vegetarian alternative, plus extra to serve
- 1 small garlic clove , roughly chopped
- large pack basil , plus a few leaves to serve
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50g mascarpone
- STEP 1
Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a dry pan for a few mins. Add half the walnuts to the small bowl of a food processor or a hand chopper, along with the red peppers, Parmesan, garlic, basil, oil and some seasoning. Whizz to a paste, adding a splash of water from the pasta if it is a little dry.
- STEP 2
Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan and set over a low heat. Add the pesto, mascarpone and 3-4 tbsp of the reserved pasta water, then stir until the mascarpone has melted, adding a splash more pasta water if the sauce needs thinning. To serve, crush the remaining walnuts in your hand and scatter over the pasta with a few more basil leaves and some extra Parmesan.