I wasn’t intending to write a post about this meal. However, it ended up being one of those lunches when you open the fridge, stare in for a few minutes and suddenly inspiration strikes and you end up with something really delicious!
I had a bunch of slightly wilted basil left over from a meal earlier in the week and an old piece of Parmesan cheese and decided to make some pesto.
I’m not a huge fan of pesto in a jar, I think it has a dull, bitter aftertaste and usually contains garlic, which is high FODMAP – I just don’t like it enough to use up my garlic quota. However, I think fresh pesto is entirely different – fragrant and nutty, it’s great spread on toasted bread, mixed into pasta or as a sauce with meat or fish.I didn’t measure the ingredients – you can really just make this to taste. I also used a hand held food processor, but you could also use a pestle and mortar.
A bunch of basil leaves and stalks
A piece of Parmesan – cut into smaller chunks, before processing*
Handful of toasted pine nuts
Big glug of good quality olive oil – preferably extra virgin
Twist of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt
*As Parmesan is a hard cheese it’s low in lactose, making it more suitable for those on a low FODMAP diet.
I didn’t have any lemons, but think a small squeeze of lemon juice would really lift the flavour.
Maybe it’s because my tastes have changed due to not eating garlic and onions very often, but I really didn’t miss the garlic at all and the pesto was full of flavour. Rob also thought it was delicious, so it can’t have just been me!
Next time I will use a really good quality fresh Parmesan. I do think it makes a big difference, especially when you’re making something with so few ingredients.I also included chopped green beans and sliced courgettes, which I lightly fried in olive oil before warming the pesto in the same frying pan and mixing in the cooked gluten free pasta.
Even with gluten free pasta, always remember mix in a bit of the pasta cooking water, to help the texture of the sauce and stop the pasta sticking together.
If you’re feeling indulgent, as I was, stir in a knob of butter at the end – apart from the taste, it gives the dish a lovely glossy finish.Add a sprinkle of extra Parmesan, a few toasted pine nuts and if you’re like me a sprinkle of chilli and enjoy!