Since adopting a plant based diet I’ve discovered some absolutely delicious recipes online. However as much as I love to spend time cooking, sometimes I just don’t have the time to follow an elaborate recipe. Sometimes all I want is proper back to basics food, the kind that I can grab all the ingredients for in a quick dash around the supermarket and then rustle up at home confidently in less than 30 minutes.
That’s why I’ve decided to start sharing what I eat on those days. These aren’t recipes as such, quite often they’ll use store bought sauces or frozen items, I just make them a little bit more exciting and maybe a touch healthier too by making a few little additions or tweaks.
I hope that this helps give you some simple ideas for what to make when you’re getting a bit hangry!
First up, my 20 minute pesto pasta:
20 Minute Pesto Pasta
My 20 minute pesto pasta hardly needs any prep at all and if you keep using the same saucepan, you can limit the washing up too. I’ve included some lower cost/higher protein swops that you can make, but I encourage you just to play around and see what works best for you!
Ingredients (per person)
75g fusilli pasta*
A handful of broccoli tips
1 to 2 tablespoons vegan friendly pesto (I used Sacla Free From No.9 Basil Pesto)
A handful of pine nuts
About 7 or 8 cherry tomatoes (I like to be a bit fancy and use on the vine ones, but any will do)
Salt and Pepper
*Low cost version: Use normal dried pasta.
*Lower carbs/higher protein version: use vegetable pasta. There should be some in the ‘free from’ section of your local supermarket, I used Morrison’s ‘green pea pasta’ for this recipe.
- Preheat your oven to 200c (180c fan assisted)
- Put a handful of pine nuts in a medium sized saucepan and toast them over a medium heat. This will only take a few minutes so keep moving them about in the pan. Keep a close eye on them so that they don’t burn!
- Put the pine nuts to one side in a small bowl and then fill the saucepan with water. Bring it to the boil.
- Whilst your water is reaching temperature, line a baking tray with tin foil (you can skip the foil if your tray is non stick). Place your cherry tomatoes in the tray and drizzle over some olive oil. Shake the tray to make sure all your tomatoes get a coating. Season with a few grinds of salt and pepper.
- Put your tomatoes in the oven to roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is just beginning to char and split.
- When your water has boiled, add some salt and then your pasta. Follow the instructions to cook it through. (Vegetable pasta is super quick, usually about 5 to 8 minutes, dried pasta takes a little bit longer).
- Once your pasta is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove it into a bowl, keeping the pasta water reserved in the saucepan.
- Add your broccoli to the boiling pasta water and leave it to simmer for about 6 minutes. If you prefer your veggies on the softer side, cook for a little longer.
- Once done, drain your broccoli and keep it to one side.
- Put the pasta back in the saucepan, add the pesto and warm it through over a medium heat. Then add the broccoli and warm through for another minute.
- By now your tomatoes should be ready. Spoon the pasta and broccoli onto the plate and sprinkle over the pine nuts. Top with the cherry tomatoes and season with a bit more salt and pepper.
If you try my 20 minute pesto pasta please do get in touch by commenting below or tagging me on Instagram @lovedbylaurac or Twitter @lovedbylaurac and using the hashtag #EasyV. I’d love to see what you come up with!