This everyday veggie pasta recipe tastes like you’ve gone to loads of effort but it’s super easy. It’s a new regular in our midweek menu…
The key to making this recipe is to multitask – get the vegetables in the oven and while they’re cooking, crack on with the pasta and the pesto sauce. Then everything comes together at the end.
To create the sauce, we simply blended a good-quality, fresh pesto with a ripe avocado – it’s a really quick way to make a delicious creamy sauce, and add good fats to make the meal go further.
Then – tip two – we added a tin of chickpeas to the pasta. It’s a surprisingly good combination that’s also a cheap and tasty way to add protein and bulk it out. Choose a pasta like fusilli that will hold onto the sauce and vegetables.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cauliflower, broken into small florets
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into squares
- 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 300g pasta (we used wholemeal fusilli)
- Tin chickpeas
- 6 tbsp fresh or homemade pesto
- 1 ripe avocado
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Mix the cauliflower and pepper together in a large bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil, and season. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for approx 25 mins until soft, mixing once or twice to cook evenly, and adding the tomatoes, drizzled with a little olive oil, 5 mins before the end.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Add the chickpeas to the pasta pan 5 mins before the end of cooking to soften.
- While the pasta is cooking, blitz the pesto with the avocado and lemon juice, plus 3 tbsp of the pasta water and black pepper, until smooth and creamy. Add a little more water if it’s too thick.
- Drain the pasta and chickpeas and stir through the pesto and roasted vegetables.
Add… torn slices of mozzarella, stirred through at the final stage, or shavings of Parmesan.
Don’t worry if you don’t have… lemon juice or avocado. It’ll work without them.
Swap… the pepper for courgette.
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