On Monday we had our first frost. My heart sank when I stepped outside and saw that our basil plant was not looking at all happy. I thought we had lost it all, but as I cut away the bits that had been most effected I realised about a third of the plant had survived. So there was no other choice than to harvest the leaves and make something with them.
Earlier in the year we picked, shelled and froze a couple of kilos of hazelnuts, so I decided to see how they would work in a pesto rather than the normal pine nuts. I had no idea how easy it was to make pesto before yesterday provided you have a food processor. I have decided it is definitely something that I am going to try to make more often when I have the herbs available as it tasted so much better than the shop bought ones I normally get.
I tried out the pesto in a pasta dish that I knocked together last night using a few bits and bobs I found in the fridge. It seemed to bring all of the flavours together and wasn’t at all overpowering. Whilst the pesto worked well with the pasta, I am looking forward to seeing how it works as a marinade with lamb in the next couple of weeks.
- 150g hazelnuts
- 50g walnuts
- 75g parmesan
- 50g basil leaves
- 25g parsley
- 10-15 chive stalks
- wine glass of olive oil (and more for preserving)
1. Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz until they become crumbs.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and blitz until you have the consistency you are looking for. Add a little more olive oil if the mix is too dry and make sure you taste it to see if it needs more seasoning.
3. Store your pesto in a sterilized jam jar, cover with some olive oil and keep in your fridge.
Quick Pesto Pasta
- pasta (75g-100g per person)
- 100g chorizo (diced)
- 50g lardons
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 sweet red pepper (diced)
- 1 mushroom (diced)
- handful of green beans (cut into 1” pieces)
- 2tbsp homemade pesto
- olive oil (for cooking with)
1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions whilst you are preparing the other ingredients.
2. Cook the onions and lardons in a saucepan with a little oil until the onions are soft.
3. Add the chorizo, pepper, mushroom and beans and cook for 5-7 minutes.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the saucepan along with the pesto and stir until everything is combined. Then serve.