I love summer. Not just for the warm balmy weather but, as a passionate cook, for the abundance of veg in the markets.
Andy, my running mentor and local fruit and veg stall owner sold me a glut of small courgettes yesterday, so along with a bunch of large vine tomatoes and my gushing basil plant I thought a tasty veggie pasta dish would be great for dinner.
First I made a batch of pesto. Pesto is so easy to make, just blitz everything in a blender and its done!
So here's my recipe for super fast Courgette & Tomato Pesto Pasta.
Add into a blender with a cutting attachment in 100g parmesan cheese broken up, a massive bunch of basil, 2 cloves of garlic, 25g pine nuts, 75g almonds and zest and juice of 1/2 lemon and 50ml extra virgin olive oil. Then blitz until the pesto is smooth.
You'll need about half the quantity of pesto made for the pasta dish, so either refrigerate or freeze to use later.
Heat about 1tbs olive oil in a wide based pan, then slowly sweat 1/2 finely chopped onion, until the onion is translucent. Cut 4 small courgettes in half lengthwise, then into half moons and add to the onion. Cut up 4 - 6 large tomatoes unto chunks and add to the pan. Give everything a good stir and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the veg is soft and cooked.
Meanwhile cook about 150g dried pasta (I used rigatoni) according to packet instructions.
Once the pasta is cooked drain and add to the veg along with half the pesto you made earlier and a good grind of black pepper. Give everything a good stir, so that the veg and pasta are thoroughly coated in the pesto sauce.
Then serve, grating over fresh parmesan and adding in a few extra basil leaves for decoration.
This serves 2 hungry runners, but can easily be doubled up using all the pesto.
I can't wait to see what's on Andys stall next week for more recipe invention in the Cheesecake Runner kitchen!