Filini pasta with asparagus, peas and wild garlic pesto
- April 2014
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 35 min
Debbie Major’s wild garlic pesto is a winner with any pasta dish. This recipe is made with seasonal spring asparagus and peas.
- 20.3g (8.3g saturated)
- 51.4g (4.7g sugars)
- 250g dried filini pasta (see tips)
- 125g freshly shelled baby peas or frozen petit pois
- 125g fine asparagus spears, cut into thirds
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 40g finely grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
For the wild garlic pesto
- 150ml olive oil
- 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves (fat ones if using spinach), crushed
- 200g wild garlic leaves or 200g mature spinach leaves (both with any thick, tough stalks already stripped off)
- 20g fresh chives, snipped
- 100g pine nuts
- 100g finely grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- To make the pesto, heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the spring onions and half the crushed garlic, then cook gently for 2 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a food processor and leave to cool. Meanwhile, slice the wild garlic leaves (or spinach) into thin strips (see Know-how). Add them to the food processor with the remaining crushed garlic, the snipped chives, pine nuts and the rest of the olive oil, then blend to a paste. Spoon into a bowl, then stir in the parmesan, sugar and some salt to taste.
- Bring 2 pans of salted water to the boil. Put the filini pasta into one pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, drop the peas and asparagus into the other pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Drain both pans, reserving a mugful of the pasta water.
- Return the pasta to a hot pan with 6 tbsp of the pesto, 4 tbsp of the reserved cooking water and the double cream. Toss together until all the pasta is coated in the creamy pesto. Add the peas, asparagus, 25g of the grated parmesan and a little more seasoning to taste, then toss together once more. Serve straightaway, sprinkled with the remaining parmesan.
This makes about 700g of pesto but it’s not worth making in small batches. Put it in ice cube trays and freeze, then transfer to resealable plastic bags. One cube is about 1 tbsp. Alternatively, store leftovers in a jar in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top before sealing.
Filini is a type of long, thin flat pasta. If you can’t get hold of any, you can use the same amount of linguini or tagliarini.
To quickly and evenly slice leaves such as wild garlic or spinach, neatly layer up a stack of leaves – as many as you can control with your cutting hand – on the chopping board, then slice them all at the same time.
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