Creamy, zingy & awesome
This is so flavorful, you will like it, trust me! I’m a fan of making pesto myself, because it’s so simple and so much tastier than the store-bought versions. Usually, it doesn’t take much longer to make homemade pesto. This one is an exception, because you have to roast the peppers first, which takes time of course.
This pesto has a lovely creamy consistency and the slight bitterness from the rocket really makes the dish a bit lighter. I used pointed peppers, but bell peppers are fine as well. Also, if you don’t feel like roasting the peppers yourself you could use the store-bought ones. In that case, you can skip right to step 4. So let’s get started!
4 pointed peppers
Juice and zest of 2/3 lemon
1 handful pine nuts, toasted
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
1 handful freshly grated parmesan
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
1 small red chili, deseeded and chopped
5 tbsp olive oil extra vergine
2 large handful arugula
100g feta, crumbled
400g dried spaghetti
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
2. Place your peppers on a tray and roast in the oven for around 30-40 minutes, turning the frequently until the skin is dark and forms bubbles. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for a bit.
3. Once the peppers have cooled off, carefully remove their skin.
4. Heat a large pot of salted water on the stove. Once the water is cooking, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions.
5. While the pasta is cooking, place the peppers, dried oregano, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in the food processor and pulse until it has a nice creamy consistency. Taste and check if you need more garlic or lemon juice, it’s alright if it tastes very zingy, as the pasta will lessen the effect of the lemon. Add the rest of the oil. You should end up with a nice oozy consistency. If you need more olive oil just add a bit more.
6. Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of cooking water. Place the pasta in a bowl, add the pesto and a bit of cooking water and stir until the spaghetti are covered with sauce. Add two handful of arugula and the crumbled feta and mix again. Serve right away.
PS: I had some left-over pesto and just put it on some toasted, dark bread – awesome!