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6 ways a jar of pesto can jazz up your dinner

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by

NatashaLS

Mar 19, 2020
5 minutes to read
Image for blog - 6 ways a jar of pesto can jazz up your dinner

Ahhh, pesto – the go-to ingredient for livening up pasta when you’re in a hurry. One jar can take you a really long way, too: read on for six tasty ways of using this store cupboard staple

1. RISOTTO WITH PEAS & WATERCRESS

To add some colour to your risotto, heat a large pan and melt 25g butter with a good glug of rapeseed oil. Add a small diced onion, cook until softened then add 50g risotto rice and give it a good stir. Add 150ml vegetarian white wine, and when it’s absorbed, make 300ml vegetable stock and add it to the rice one ladle at a time, waiting until each ladle is absorbed before you add the next. Stir in half a jar of pesto and 100g peas, and wait for the rice to fully cook. Season and serve with a handful of fresh watercress.

2. MINI VEGGIE MOZZARELLA PESTO BITES

For a simple way to wow your guests, slice the tops off 20 vegetarian mini mozzarella balls. Spoon half a teaspoon of pesto onto the cut side and pop the tops back on. Arrange them on a platter, drizzle with oil and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

3. PESTO & TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

For a quick and simple lunch, lightly toast four slices of ciabatta. Spread one teaspoon of pesto across the top, add your favourite cheese, then grill until melted. Slice a handful of cherry tomatoes, place them on top of the cheesy ciabatta and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with a light drizzle of olive oil.

4. PASTA WITH PESTO COURGETTE SAUCE

For a delicious dinner, cook 400g pasta. Grate four courgettes. Heat a good glug of rapeseed oil in a pan and fry the grated courgette for 10 minutes. Throw in three chopped garlic cloves and one teaspoon of chilli flakes. Cook for two minutes, then stir in a jar of pesto. When it’s ready, toss the cooked pasta into the courgettes along with a big spoonful of pasta water. Season and serve.

5. PESTO CHEESE ON TOAST

For a last-minute snack, lightly toast two slices of bread. Spread each slice with one teaspoon of pesto, top with your favourite grated cheese and grill until melted. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and serve.

6. PASTA WITH PESTO, CHERRY TOMATOES & RICOTTA

For a fresh and easy dinner, cook 400g of pasta. Drain when ready, then stir in one jar of pesto and a handful of halved cherry tomatoes. Season to taste, and serve topped with a dollop of ricotta cheese and fresh basil leaves.

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