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

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Penne with pesto and field mushrooms

I bet you're thinking oh god not another post about pasta and pesto... sorry, I just couldn't resist! This is my all-time favourite meal when I want something quick, satisfying, delicious and not too unhealthy (so most nights, haha). Two ingredients - pasta and pesto, and you can do so many different things with them. This is pasta, green pesto, green beans, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, field mushrooms, fresh parmesan and some caramelised onion chutney mm mm. I would usually just add green beans, mushrooms, onion and spinach like here, but recently I've started liking cherry tomatoes a lot more and had some large flat mushrooms in the fridge which I wanted to bake in the oven. This is vegetarian so for those who have to have meat with dinner, chicken and/or bacon are brilliant with this too, and probably salmon or tuna, although I have yet to try that. This is a perfect dish for students who will nearly always have pasta and a jar of pesto in their cupboard - onions are really cheap to add in, as are tomatoes and green veg to make sure you're being fairly healthy. Parmesan is expensive so have it without or grate some cheddar cheese on top if you wish. I have some friends who cook pasta and pesto almost every night at uni but it's different each time because you can add so many different things, so it takes a while to get boring. I didn't use onion or garlic in this recipe because I wanted to keep it all to one pan, so this is also ideal for students who are trying to save time and don't want to do a lot of washing up!
**I will be making some posts in the near future of easy but delicious meals for students, as this has been requested, so check back if you're in need of some recipes to follow or just some tips and ideas on how to eat well on a budget!**

Serves 1
- 90g wholewheat penne
- 2 large field mushrooms
- olive oil
- handful of fine green beans, cut in half
- cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/3 jar of green pesto
- fresh parmesan, grated
- few leaves of fresh basil, torn
- 1 heaped tsp caramelised onion chutney (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180 degrees.
2. Brush the mushrooms in olive oil and season. Place on a baking tray, cover with foil, and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.
3. Cook the penne pasta in boiling water according to packet instructions (around 15 minutes)
4. Add the green beans to the pasta water when the pasta has about 5 minutes remaining on the cooking time. Drain together and return to the pan.
5. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and pesto until the pasta is coated.
6. Remove the mushrooms from the oven when soft all the way through and place on a plate, and serve the pasta on top / next to the mushrooms.
7. Sprinkle with parmesan and fresh basil, and serve with caramelised onion chutney if you wish.

Enjoy :)

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