60gvegetarian parmesan cheese (½ a cup + 2 tbsp)finely grated
45gpine nuts (⅓ of a cup)
30gfresh basil leaves (1 ½ cups)
2cloves of garlicminced
60ml extra virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
2tablespoonfreshly squeezed lemon juice
¼teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
For the mushrooms
500gchestnut/brown mushrooms ( 4 cups)wiped dry then sliced
50gbutter (3 ½ tbsp)I use real salted butter
2cloves ofgarlic minced
1tablespoonfresh thyme leaves
For the pasta
350glinguine (12oz)You can also use, fusilli or penne.
Agood pinch ofsalt
70gsundried tomatoes ( approx ¾ of a cup)cut into strips
Grated vegetarian parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil optional
Cracked black pepper
Make the pesto
Add the spinach, basil, pine nuts, grated vegetarian parmesan and minced garlic to a food processor and blend until everything is roughly blended.With the food processor running slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the processor. Once the oil has been incorporated stop blitzing.Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper then blitz one more time very briefly. Set aside until you are ready to use it.
Cook the mushrooms
Melt about a third of the butter in a large frying pan, add half the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until browned, flip the mushrooms using the pan. Once the mushrooms are brown transfer them to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.Once all the mushrooms are cooked return the mushrooms in the bowl to the pan along with 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and black pepper.Toss the pan once or twice until the garlic is cooked, this should only take a minute or two.
Cook the pasta
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.Drain the pasta.
Assemble the dish
Add the pesto to the pasta and toss well.Next, add the sundried tomatoes and toss carefully.Serve the pasta in bowls, top with the mushrooms, some grated vegetarian parmesan, some extra pine nuts and some freshly cracked black pepper. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if you wish.
Spinach - Fresh baby spinach is best for this pesto, frozen spinach will not work here.
Mushrooms - Chestnut or brown mushrooms will give you the most flavour but white button mushrooms will work well too.
Pasta - We like linguine for this but fusilli or penne work really well too. I would use whatever pasta you have, except for tortellini.
Leftover pasta - if you have leftover pasta you can transfer it to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, pour a little olive oil over it then keep it in the fridge for up to a week. You can use it for pasta or we like it drizzled on toasted sourdough or on fried eggs.
Storing/reheating/freezing - I don't recommend freezing this dish, you can freeze leftover pesto if you need to though. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated on the hob, you may find a slight difference in texture though. You can eat this dish cold if you wish.
Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online tool, it is a guide only, it does not include any extra toppings.
Measurements - I weigh all my ingredients using an electric scale, all measurements are metric. Cup measurements are approximate.