Spring is just about here, and with it comes an abundance of fresh produce, in particular, green things! This super green spaghetti with lemony rocket & walnut pesto, asparagus, peas and goat's cheese makes great use of a few of spring's best vegetables - asparagus, peas (ok, so I cheated on the pea front and used frozen ones, but it would be even better with fresh) and rocket.
It is also incredibly quick and simple to make and only takes as long to make as the spaghetti takes to cook so it is perfect for a speedy weekday dinner; though it is also good enough to serve on a more special occasion as well. The pesto is a simple matter of bunging everything in a food processor, and I cook the asparagus and peas in the same pan as the pasta to save on washing up. I love it topped with creamy, tangy goat's cheese, but feta would work really well too, as would some roughly torn mozzarella.
Spaghetti With Lemony Rocket & Walnut Pesto, Asparagus, Peas & Goat's Cheese
- 350 g (12oz) spaghetti (I used wholewheat)
- 60 g (2oz) fresh basil
- 60 g (2oz) fresh rocket
- 60 g (2oz) walnuts
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 50 g (1.75oz) parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper
- 300 g (10.5oz) asparagus spears
- 200 g (7oz) peas fresh or frozen
- 100 g (3.5oz) goats cheese
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
- Meanwhile, place the basil, rocket, walnuts, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor and blitz until everything is finely chopped.
- Add the lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan and some salt and pepper and blend again until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as required.
- Chop the woody ends off of the asparagus then cut into thin slices at an angle, leaving the heads intact.
- Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet and add the asparagus and peas for the final two minutes of cooking (you can cook them in a separate pan if you prefer).
- Drain well then toss together the pasta and vegetables and pesto. Serve with a scattering of goat's cheese on top.