Thursday, 10 January 2019

Pea pesto spaghetti

easy vegetarian meals

When the weather outside is grey and miserable, there's nothing better than coming home to a hot comfort meal. Pasta is nearly everyone's favourite. It's quick, delicious and easy to adapt to any diet preference.
The latest Degustabox's bounty included a pack of Delverde spaghetti (£1.99). This is a premium durum wheat semolina pasta, made with a rough surface to better hold sauce.
It is traditionally made in the area around the river Verde, which flows through the Majella National Park, in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

We love fresh pesto, it is so easy to make, and you can play with the ingredients, choosing different cheese, nuts or herbs.
Pesto made from fresh peas has a vibrant green colour.

This pasta dish will be enjoyed by vegetarians (if you use a vegetarian cheese) and meat eaters alike. I'm not sure what's the best substitute for cheese, if you're a vegan. Possibly skip cheese alternatives altogether, and use more nuts, like cashews. All the vegan cheese alternatives that I've tried so far are pretty grim, they taste nothing like cheese (and even those which are supposedly the award-winning ones).
Just want to add that Grana is not a vegetarian cheese, as it's made using a cow's rennet. I googled, and if you want a more authentic Italian recipes, you can use Italian cheese like aged Asiago or Romano.

Pea pesto spaghetti:
200g fresh peas
25g fresh basil leaves
1 clove of garlic (or more)
50g pine nuts
50g Grana Padano cheese or a vegetarian hard cheese
90ml olive oil
50g+ dried spaghetti per person

Place all the ingredients except oil in a deep bowl and blitz with a blender (or use a food processor). Pour the olive oil, and keep blending, until you get a smooth pesto.

Serve stirred into cooked spaghetti.

This pesto will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen.

easy vegetarian dinners


  1. Great idea - it looks tasty and is surprisingly simple to make. :)

    1. Thank you, Cheryl, it's super easy, and also tastes lovely.

  2. It looks amazing, but be aware that Grana Padano is not vegetarian. The well known hard cheeses, like this one and Parmesan are made with animal rennet (enzime from calf stomach), so not suitable for vegetarians. I found that a extra mature cheddar cheese works just as well in pesto, if you are cooking for vegetarians and want a veggie alternative.
    I'm going to try pea pesto, it does sound really delicious.

    1. Thank you, Anca, that's a good tip. I knew about Parmesan, but wasn't aware that Grana is also non-vegetarian. I looked at the ingredients, and it didn't mention any rennet at all, but there is an egg used, not sure what it does.

    2. That sounds strange, an egg in cheese. Maybe they use the egg whites as binding agent or to filter? This is how egg whites are used for other products.