Tuesday, 13 September 2016


Following hot on the heels of my basil pesto recipe is this recipe for my family's favourite way to eat it. It's so simple - literally a four-ingredient, 15-minute meal. What's more, I'm guaranteed clean plates all round when I serve this up (which, frankly, makes a nice change).

Meals containing peas go down well in my house. Along with sweetcorn, peas are a vegetable that everyone will happily eat – my husband even goes as far as to call the humble pea 'the king of vegetables'. It's a shame that kale and broccoli don't receive similar praise, but I'm just happy that everyone's in agreement about something.   

I tend to leave the ham out of my toddler's portion because I try to limit her salt intake, but that's easy enough – I just serve hers up before I add the ham to the rest of the pasta. Occasionally, I'll make a vegetarian(ish – the Parmesan in the pesto obviously isn't vegetarian) version of this dish for myself with added halved cherry tomatoes and fresh rocket leaves instead of the ham and peas. You can also use bacon, or even chicken, instead of the ham. In fact, the possibilities are endless. I'd love to hear your ideas for jazzing up pesto pasta – what are your family's favourite ingredients?

Pasta with pesto, peas & ham

Serves 2 adults and 2 small children
300g (dry weight) pasta shapes
200g frozen peas
100g basil pesto
100g ham (slices are fine), chopped
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the pasta. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the peas, bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 2 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but firm to the bite.
Drain the pasta well, then return to the saucepan and stir in the pesto and ham. Dig in!

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