University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Tagliatelle with pesto and green beans

As I've said maybe a million times, I love pasta and I love pesto so I'm always throwing them together; it is my ultimate comfort food. I usually love it with bits of bacon and lots of red onion and maybe a dash of cream too, but this seems to be a new favourite and healthier (although I wouldn't say no to the bacon or cream...) This is so simple to make but tastes delicious. I got the idea from the Zizzi's menu a while back - although I just checked and I don't think they do it anymore ahh! Think it was pasta twists with green beans and a very creamy pesto sauce which was scrummy but rich, so I adapted it slightly with what I had in the fridge. This is a really good way to boost getting your 5-a-day for those of you who don't like eating green veg on its own, or who are just bored of doing so. If I have spinach in the fridge I will nearly always put a big handful on my plate and then put whatever I'm eating on top (nearly everything goes with spinach aha) because although I don't like to eat spinach raw, I don't like it when it's all wet and slimey, so this way it wilts perfectly from the heat of the pasta mm mm. Adding bacon and lots of parmesan would make this dish perfecto.
Serves 2
- 200g tagliatelle
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 150g button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 pack of fine green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 1/2 - 3/4 a jar of green pesto (size of the Sacla or Napolina ones)
- handful of fresh spinach leaves (optional)
- handful of parmesan, grated (optional)

1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions in salted water (around 10 mins)
2. Fry the onions in the olive oil until softened and add the mushrooms
3. Add the green beans to the pasta water after about half the cooking time (so after 5 minutes)
4. Once cooked, drain the pasta and beans and return to the pan, adding the onions and mushrooms as well
5. Return to the heat, and stir in the pesto (this is where you would also add cream)
6. Serve on a bed of spinach leaves and top with some freshly grated parmesan (and even some fresh basil!)

Don't forget you can add anything to this like chicken or bacon or both, and cream or creme fraiche if you like more of a sauce rather than just a coating! I'm sure other vegetables would be nice in this too, not just green beans, like sugar snap peas, asparagus, brocolli, or peas!

I loved this meal so much that I made it again a week later, but this time with smoked salmon in as well, and wholewheat penne instead of tagliatelle, mm I want everyone else to share the deliciousness!!

Enjoy :)

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