And so we come to the end of Peppadew week! I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes this week, and that I’ve given you a taste of how versatile these little piquante peppers are. If you haven’t yet claimed your discount voucher, make sure you do that now, and pick up a jar next time you’re in the shops. They’re a very handy thing to have in the cupboard ready for a quick dinner…
…like this spicy Peppadew pesto pasta! You’ve probably seen sun-dried tomato pesto lots of times, but switching the tomatoes for hot Peppadews gives the added bonus of that lovely sweet spiciness. When you’re eating something like pasta, which doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour itself, it’s so nice to have a real hit of flavour in the sauce, and this Peppadew pesto definitely delivers that.
The pesto is made from pine nuts, garlic, fresh basil, and hot Peppadews. I skipped the parmesan that’s usually found in pesto, because honestly I think it’s not really necessary.
There I go again, pretending I know more than the Italians who have been making pesto for centuries – but I actually prefer to make a vegan pesto. The pine nuts make it perfectly creamy, and this way people can choose how much cheese to add on top of their pasta instead. You taste it more when it’s sprinkled on top, rather than being hidden inside the pesto!
I served my Peppadew pesto pasta really simply with a few more fresh basil leaves and some roasted mushrooms. I don’t know why, but I’ve always thought that mushrooms go really well with pesto pasta – they add a little bit of juiciness that goes really well with the fairly dry sauce. If you’re not a mushroom fan, feel free to skip them, or go for some other veggies instead.
A really tasty, quick and simple weeknight dinner – perfect!
Spicy Peppadew pesto pasta
- ~ 8 medium mushrooms
- 1 tbsp oil
- 200 g pasta
- 60 g drained Peppadew piquante peppers (1/3 of a 400g jar, or ~2/3 cup)
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled
- Small bunch fresh basil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- Slice the mushrooms, and toss them in a little oil. Roast at 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F) for 10-15 minutes, until soft.
- Boil the pasta until al dente.
- Meanwhile, add the drained Peppadew peppers, pine nuts, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil to a mini food processor, along with a good pinch of black pepper. Blitz until smooth.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and stir through the pesto. Serve with the roasted mushrooms and more fresh basil.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.