Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Winter Spelt Spinach Tagliatelle with Chestnut Pesto and Greens

Winter Spelt Spinach Tagliatelle with Chestnut Pesto and Greens

This is a great way to use seasonal produce to create a hearty comforting meat free meal. The earthiness from the chestnuts and greens works so nicely alongside the tart physalis fruit and vibrant pesto. This is pasta with a difference and worth a try.

Preparation Time – 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time – 10-12minutes
Feeds 4-6

Ingredients -
250g Spelt spinach Tagliatelle – Any spelt or wholemeal Tagliatelle will do if you struggle to find a spinach version 
1 White onion - Roughly chopped into quarters then quarters again
200g of Chestnuts - Roughly chopped in half
2 Large handfuls of beetroot leaves or fresh spinach
1 Punnet of physalis fruit (Around 15-20) - To garnish with
Drizzle of rapeseed olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Chestnut Pesto -
Large Handful of basil leaves
Large handful of cooked chestnuts (the vacuum packed ones are ideal) – Roughly chopped
1 Large clove of garlic - Peeled and roughly crushed and sliced
1 Handful of Parmesan style cheese (Vegetarian) – Finely grated
Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkle of salt

Instructions –
Start by boiling a large pan of salted water (use the kettle to speed this part up) then add in the tagliatelle and cook until al dente or for around 8-10 minutes.
Combine all pesto ingredients in either a food processor or muddle in a pestle and mortar until it forms a paste, add in the extra virgin olive oil and mix again.
Add a glug of oil, the chopped onion and chunks of chestnuts plus a sprinkle of seasoning to a large pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat until the onion softens and the chestnuts darken. Finally add in your greens and wilt for a minute or so (Do this just before you’re about to serve, making sure the pasta is ready to go so you don’t overcook the greens).

Once you have everything ready, add the pesto to the pasta, along with the onion, chestnuts and greens. Gently mix together to ensure and even coating, tongs are pretty good for this if you have. Serve up and garnish with the Physalis fruit.

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