Spaghetti with Watercress Pesto
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Pesto is besto and even bettero with organic watercress, one of the oldest leaf vegetables known to humanity.
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Ingredients you'll need
  • A bag of breadcrumbs
  • A bag of watercress
  • 2 large potatoes
  • A bundle of asparagus
  • A bunch of cherry vine tomatoes
  • A bag of spaghetti
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
From your kitchen
  • Sea salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp
  • Freshly ground pepper
You'll need
  • Frying pan
  • Food processor or blender
  • Pan with a lid
  • Colander
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Warm a dry frying pan over a low heat. Add the breadcrumbs. Toast them for 1-2 mins. Keep shaking the pan till they’re golden. Keep your eye on them so they don't burn. Tip into a food processor or blender.

  • 2.

    Remove any thick stalks from the watercress. Rinse and pat dry. Roughly chop. Add to the food processor. Put to one side. Fill the kettle and boil it.

  • 3.

    Scrub and thickly slice the potatoes. Snap the woody stems off the asparagus stalks. Trim the asparagus into lengths around 3 cm long. Pop them to one side.

  • 4.

    Heat your grill to high. Fill a pan with hot water from the kettle. Add a pinch of salt. Cover. Bring to the boil. Pop the tomatoes onto a baking tray or in a roasting tin. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Season.

  • 5.

    Pop the tomatoes under the grill for 10-12 mins till they are soft and charred. When the water in the pan is boiling, add the spaghetti and sliced potatoes. Cover. Simmer for a very precise 7 mins.

  • 6.

    Add the asparagus to the pan. Simmer for another 3-4 mins till the asparagus and potatoes are soft when you poke them with a fork or skewer.

  • 7.

    While the spaghetti cooks, finely grate or pare the zest from the lemon. Juice it. Peel the garlic. Add to the watercress with 4 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Whiz to make a thick pesto – add more oil if you think it needs it.

  • 8.

    If you don’t have a processor or blender, finely chop everything and mix together, bashing with the end of a rolling pin to make a chunky paste. Drain the pasta. Mix with a few spoonfuls of the pesto. Serve with the grilled tomatoes on top.

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