Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Butternut Squash & Basil Pesto Pasta

Why is it that every Italian dish tastes absolutely delicious? They are the food gurus...masterminds. Ok you may be able to hint my slight favoritism towards Italian cuisine, but it is true none the less. Their food usually tastes pretty good. By usually, I mean 100% of the time. Italians believe that using fresh ingredients is the secret, and I would have to agree with them. Food made from scratch, with fresh ingredients, really does produce the best results. (However, I think the great deal of glorious sunshine probably does helps make their food taste heavenly!)

Pesto is the most amazing sauce ever, and is pasta's best friend. It is traditionally made from crushed garlic, blended pine nuts, basil, olive oil, cream and Parmesan cheese. Now a days, you can simply purchase it in a jar in the supermarkets for convenience. However there is something special about making yourself a batch of pesto. It can be stored for future use in the freezer, or freshly made pesto can be kept refrigerated in an air tight container, ready to use for up to a week.

Basil is good source of vitamin A, which is a powerful anti-oxidant, which reduces the activation of free radicals oxidizing cholesterol in the blood. Basil is a source of magnesium, which promotes heart health by relaxing muscles, therefore improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms. Green leafy foods are amazing in general, and should definitely be included in the diet due to their super high nutrient levels. Basil is a great source of calcium, iron and vitamin K, which is important factor in blood clotting.

I tend to make a lighter version of the well-known Italian creation, yet not losing any of the well-loved taste. It goes perfectly with pasta, but is also a fantastic addition to meat dishes or swirled in with roasted vegetables. Buon appetito! 

Serves 4

1 Butternut Squash
Wholewheat pasta, for 4 people

                     Pesto:
1 mug of Basil
1 Garlic clove, crushed
1/4 mug of Parmesan                                  cheese, grated
5 tbsp of Olive oil
4 tbsp Lime juice
Salt and Pepper to season

  1. Peel and cube butternut squash. Place in roasting tray, drizzle over some olive oil, and season with salt. Roast for 30 minutes in 180oC oven.
  2. Boil the pasta for 20 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Blend together pesto ingredients in food processor.
  4. Drain water from cooked pasta, but reserve about 4 tbsp worth. Add in roasted squash, and stir in pesto sauce.

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