Tuesday 27 September 2016

Mint and almond pesto

Aoife McElwain

Published 21/08/2015 | 02:30

Mint and almond pesto
Mint and almond pesto
Prawn and courgette pasta

Summery pasta dishes make for the perfect speedy supper. This week, we're putting the summer courgette bounty to use by pairing them with prawns in a creamy yet light pasta dish. Our mint and almond pesto is a great alternative to the more ubiquitous basil pesto. We'll never tire of basil pesto, but it's nice to mix things up every once and a while. This also works as a lovely accompaniment to roast lamb or slathered on a steak sandwich.

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Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cooking Time: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS

150g of spaghetti (or enough for two people)

Olive oil

1 small courgette

1 clove of garlic

2 tablespoons of crème fraîche

175g cooked and peeled prawns

Zest of half a lemon

Salt

Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan. Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti according to the packet's instructions. It will take between 7 and 9 minutes.

2. Make your sauce while the pasta is cooking. Finely grate the courgette. Use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquid before adding them to frying pan. Fry for 3 minutes until starting to turn a vibrant green colour.

3. Finely slice the garlic and add to the courgette. Fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and the prawns. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the prawns are cooked through. Grate in the zest of half a lemon. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

4. Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan. Stir so that the pasta is well coated with the crème fraîche. Serve immediately, with an extra sprinkle of black pepper on top.

Mint and Almond Pesto

Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cooking Time: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS

150g spaghetti (or enough for two people)

A large bunch of fresh mint leaves

2 cloves of garlic

50g of chopped (not ground) almonds

50g of Parmesan cheese

8 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

METHOD

1. Cook your spaghetti according to the packet's instructions. It will take between 7 and 9 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make your pesto by picking the leaves of mint from their stalks. Add them to your food processor. Use a fine grater to grate the garlic into the mint. Add the chopped almonds. Finely grate the Parmesan and add to the processor. Add four tablespoons of the olive oil and blitz until the mint has been finely chopped. Add another two tablespoons of oil and blitz again. If you are happy with the oiliness of the pesto, you're done. If not, add another tablespoon or two.

3. Drain the pasta and return to its saucepan. Spoon in the mint and almond pesto and mix everything together well. Serve with some extra grated Parmesan.

This week's storecupboard essential:

Almonds: It might be wise to stock up on whole, flaked and ground almonds. Most of our almond supplies come from California. The drought that has been devastating farms all over the US state may prove to have a negative effect on export. Enjoy them now before availability decreases and prices increase.

Photos: Mark Duggan 

Irish Independent

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