I am SO excited to share this one with you. It’s a ridiculously easy pasta recipe, but the bit I’m most excited about is the pesto element. I love pesto, but as it usually contains oil and nuts I very rarely eat it. This way of making pesto uses no oil at all, so I’m going to eat it with wild abandon.
I only made this for the first time last night, and I’m eating it for lunch again today. I usually try to leave a day or so before eating leftovers so I don’t get bored, but it was so delicious I couldn’t wait.
The pesto is interesting. The rocket adds a peppery bite to it, but the mint adds a sweetness without ever really tasting of mint. I guarantee that you could feed spoonfuls of this to all your friends and family and they wouldn’t guess that it included mint. The lemon adds a tiny bit of sharpness and also lubrication, but I’d been interested to experiment with other liquids to see how that affects the taste.
You don’t have to add the chorizo if you don’t want to but I recommend adding something to cut through all the basil and add a bit of crunch, otherwise it can get quite overwhelming. Pesto is quite a heady flavour, and the salty chorizo works beautifully. Perhaps a diced sweet red pepper would work? Let me know if you’ve got any ideas in the comments.
If you are using chorizo use cooking chorizo rather than cured. I’m usually quite laissez-faire about ingredients but this one is a must. Cooking chorizo seeps oil when fried and goes all crispy and delicious, and that’s what you want here. You can usually find pre-diced cooking chorizo in supermarkets – I used Sainsbury’s here but I’ve previously used Morrisons too.
Talking of Morrisons, I used their dried egg and spinach tagliatelle for this. I’ve used it a couple of times now and I really like it. It’s less than a quid for seven servings of pasta, and it looks pretty in its contrasting spirals of green and white.
Garry and I practically inhaled this, but didn’t need to go back for more because it’s incredibly satisfying. Although we did keep nibbling at the chorizo leftover in the pan. And by we, I mean I. What can I say? I really like chorizo, guys.
- 200g cooking chorizo, diced
- 300g tagliatelle
- Two handfuls of rocket
- Two garlic cloves
- A large handful fresh mint
- Two handfuls of basil
- 60g Parmesan
- Juice of 1-2 lemons
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions
- Whilst it's cooking, add all of the ingridients for the pesto to a food processor except for the lemon juice. Add the juice of one of the lemons, whizz all the pesto ingredients together, then taste. If it needs a bit more sharpness or needs to be a bit looser, add more lemon juice bit by bit and blend well between each addition. Keeping blending until the pesto is smooth
- Fry the chorizo in a pan until crispy
- Drain the majority of the water from the pasta and immediately mix in the pesto whilst the pasta is still dripping
- Pile into a bowl and serve with the chorizo sprinkled over the top