Tagliatelle with Pesto and Courgettes

Make your own pesto with this simple dinner recipe. Perfect to enjoy over Spring or Summer as it makes the most of seasonal ingredients like basil and courgettes.

From the book

My Simple Italian by
My Simple Italian
100 foolproof recipes for classic Italian dishes
Simple, fresh ideas for midweek dinners
Comforting recipes for traditional home cooking


Pesto is very easy to make and brings out the best of fresh basil. It works perfectly with courgettes, and together they make the tagliatelle juicy and flavoursome.

Serves 2


250g fresh tagliatelle
2 courgettes, cut into long strips
For the pesto:
1 garlic clove, peeled
150g basil leaves
75g pine nuts, preferably Mediterranean
100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Essential kit

You will need a pestle and mortar.


1. First make the pesto. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt to a smooth paste. Add the basil leaves and pound so the leaves turn to a pulp. Add the pine nuts and crush until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons water and emulsify, then add the Parmesan cheese. Finally, slowly work in the olive oil.

2. Cook the pasta with the courgettes in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes – the pasta should still have a bite.

3. Meanwhile, warm half the pesto in a frying pan.

4. Using tongs, lift the pasta and courgettes from the water and add to the frying pan. Toss with the pesto and add 2–3 tablespoons of the pasta water to loosen the sauce so it coats the pasta strands.

5. Check and adjust the seasoning and serve with the remaining pesto on top.


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