Why not try your hand at some Italian cuisine made freshly at home. This is a two part recipe: one for dairy free Red Pesto which makes easily enough for 4 adults (we only used Pecorino as a garnish so this can easily be omitted for vegans or those on a lower fat diet.) and the second part is the recipe for fresh Pasta for 4.
This pesto recipe uses minced basil from a jar. Sometimes you don't have the time or spare change for fresh basil, so this is a convenient staple for the larder. Keep it alongside a packet of pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes and you'll be able to enjoy the taste of Italy whenever you fancy.
Make the Red Pesto first. Using a coffee grinder, mortar & pestle or the end of a rolling pin in a bowl, crush the Pine Nuts roughly into powder. For example: we ground half the nuts finely in a coffee grinder and the second half more roughly to provide texture. Transfer into a mixing bowl.
Crush/chop the sun dried tomato halves into a fine paste. Add to the mixing bowl.
Add the garlic paste or crush/chop the garlic clove and add into the mixing bowl along with the ready-minced basil.
Mix thoroughly. You may add a little olive if the paste is a little too stiff. Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to make the full sauce.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the eggs. Use your hands to combine the eggs with the flour so that you have a rough dough. Add a little cold water if necessary (eggs to come in different sizes!) and work the dough together until you can form a neat, smooth dough ball.
Add the mixed herbs and knead for around 5 minutes then cover for 15 minutes. Set up your paste machine if you have one, or alternatively flour a large board ready to roll by hand.
Divide the dough ball roughly into 6-8 pieces. Roll each piece into a rough sausage shape and feed each through the smooth rollers on the pasta machine. Gradually reduce the gap between the rollers as you keep passing each section through until you have some nice, long thin strips.
Dust lightly with flour and then pass each flat strip of pasta through the Tagliatelle rollers. Lay onto a wire drying rack or pasta rack if you are lucky enough to own one! Cover with kitchen towel and all the Tagliatelle to one side.
Warm a pan with a little Olive Oil and gently fry the onions, peppers and garlic until they begin to caramelise. Then add the balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar and fry more to continue the caramelising process. Then add the butter beans and pesto paste and combine thoroughly over a medium heat. Keep stirring.
Half way through frying the above, fill a large saucepan with boiling water around three quarters full. Turn the heat on and once the water is gently bubbling, add the fresh Tagliatelle a bundle at a time in quick succession. Stir gently with a fork and allow the pasta to cook for around 15 minutes on a steady simmer or until the pasta has achieved the texture you prefer.
Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to prevent overcooking. The pasta can be dressed with Olive Oil if you wished and served separately onto plates with the Vegetable Pesto Mix on top.
Or alternatively transfer the pasta into a very large serving bowl and stir the Pesto Vegetables through the pasta and take to the table.
Any leftovers can be allowed to cool before being transferred into the fridge and should be eaten the next day.
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