Basil and Rocket Pesto with Wholewheat Spaghetti

cook 20 mins
  • 50 g (2 oz) sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 500 g (1 lb) wholewheat spaghetti
  • 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch of basil
  • 75 g (3 oz) rocket leaves
  • 25 g (1 oz) Parmesan-style cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • coarse sea salt and pepper
  • Place the seeds in a small, dry frying pan and toast gently for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until lightly toasted and golden. Tip on to a plate to cool.
  • Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 11–12 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, crush the garlic together with a generous pinch of sea salt using a pestle and mortar. Add the basil and rocket leaves, and pound until crushed to a coarse paste.
  • Add the toasted seeds and pound to a paste, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese, olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with plenty of black pepper and more salt, if necessary.
  • Drain the pasta and toss immediately with the pesto. Divide between 4 shallow bowls and serve with extra cheese, if desired.
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