Vegetarian Farfalle with a Zesty Pesto Sauce

Vegetarian Farfalle

Pasta, Vegetarian | May 2, 2015 | By

This dish is a rather unusual one for me. I’m a self-confessed carnivore so cooking a veggie dish when it’s not strictly necessary (because I need to feed a veggie or because I can’t afford meat) is not my usual choice. However, every day is a school day and I’m home alone for the weekend so I thought I’d experiment. I was pretty impressed with the result, not feeling hungry afterwards and I found the sauce really tasty.

Vegetarian Farfalle with a Zesty Pesto Sauce
Serves 2
Healthy wholewheat farfalle with a zesty pesto and tomato based sauce, with feta cheese and baby spinach.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
For the sauce
  1. Glug of olive oil
  2. 1 clove of garlic
  3. 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  4. 1/4 jar green pesto
  5. 75g feta
  6. Handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  7. Handful of fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  8. Juice of half a lemon
  9. Sea salt and cracked black pepper
For the pasta
  1. 150g wholemeal farfalle pasta
To prepare
  1. Finely chop the garlic and roughly chop the basil and spinach. Crumble the feta cheese.
  2. Set a pot of salted water on the hob and bring to the boil.
For the pasta
  1. Cook the pasta in the boiling water as per packet instructions. This is usually about 12-15 minutes.
For the sauce
  1. Once the pasta is on, heat some olive oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic for about 30 seconds over a medium heat until aromatic.
  2. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and mix. Season well with pepper. Turn the heat up to high and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn the heat back to medium. Add the chopped spinach and basil reserving some basil for garnish, the pesto and the lemon juice. Stir well then stir in about 80% of the cheese. Allow to simmer.
To Serve
  1. Drain the pasta and divide onto two plates. Scoop some sauce onto each plate and crumble the remaining cheese over. Add some basil to garnish. Serve immediately.
Variations?
  1. Experiment with different types of pasta and different types of pesto until you find a combination you enjoy.
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Blackened Chicken Salad

Blackened Chicken Salad

Chicken | February 16, 2015 | By

This salad literally redefined how I thought about salad. Before this, with the exception of Chicken Caesar salad, salad was a starter or a side-dish. This salad is both filling and nutritious, and it’s incredibly easy to make.

 

Blackened Chicken Salad
Serves 2
A flavoursome, mixed salad topped with juicy blackened chicken.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
For the Chicken
  1. 2 chicken fillets
  2. 2 tbsp allspice
  3. 2 tbsp cajun mix
  4. 1 tbsp paprika
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. Olive oil
For the Salad
  1. Spinach or a mixture of baby leaves
  2. Handful of cherry tomatoes (halved)
  3. 1 ripe mango
  4. 1 ripe avocado
  5. 2 spring onions (chopped)
  6. 1 lime
  7. Handful of fresh mint
  8. Feta cheese
Prepare the dressing
  1. Zest and juice the lime. Chop the mint and add it to the juice. Next add a good glug of olive oil and stir or shake well to combine. This will keep in the fridge for days.
Prepare the chicken
  1. Either flatten the chicken fillets or cut into thin strips. Mix all the seasoning together and toss the chicken in it.
Make the salad
  1. Put your leaves in a large bowl and add the chopped tomatoes and spring onion. Add one third of the dressing and mix well.
  2. Chop the mango into chunks and scoop out the avocado. Add the fruit to the salad. Crumble the feta in on top. Add one third of the dressing and stir well.
  3. Fry the chicken over a medium to high heat until cooked through.
To Serve
  1. Plate the salad and top with the warm chicken strips. Divide the remaining dressing over the chicken.
Fresh Mango or Avocado?
  1. The current trend in Ireland is to sell fruit to "ripen at home". Unfortunately that means you'll need to buy your mango/avocado in advance and allow it to ripen. Alternatively Lidl have a ready to eat range and you should also be able to get fresh mangos/avocados in your local fruit and veg shop.
Salad Dressing
  1. For an extra kick add a drop of chilli oil to the dressing and add chopped coriander. An old pesto jar or jam jar makes an ideal salad shaker; simply add the ingredients and shake to mix.
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