Spaghetti with spring greens

I have all sorts of new growth in my garden at the moment, including a mixed selection of herbs and lots of leafy, nutritious greens.  I make this sauce into a thick pesto-like paste, which I can use as a dip if there is any leftover.


Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert
Spaghetti with spring greens

Serves 4

4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 red chilli, seeds removed, roughly cut
12 spring onions, roughly chopped
handful parsley
mixed handful of chervil, tarragon, mint and basil
300g kale, spinach or cavolo nero, stalks removed
2 Tbsp sunflower or pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 lemon, juice
salt and freshly cracked pepper
500g spaghetti

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

Cook the garlic and chilli for 5 minutes, as this softens the flavours. Remove and drain. Set aside.

Blanch the leafy greens for 2 minutes. Reserve 2 Tbsp water, drain well.

In a food processor, add the garlic, chilli, toasted seeds, herbs, ½ the parmesan cheese and blanched greens. Processor until just combined. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Keep the motor running and add the water and ¾ of the oil. Add a little lemon juice, combine and taste. You want it to have a herby, deep leafy taste with a hint of lemon to lift the flavour, spoon into a bowl and set aside.

In the same pot, cook the spaghetti following the directions on the packet.

Drain and return to the pot. Add enough of the green pesto-like sauce to well coat the spaghetti.

Serve at once with a little more olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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