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Looking for a quick, tasty pasta recipe for a midweek dinner? This recipe from @the.foodie.analyst is like pesto pasta, only better.

Pesto pasta is the ultimate midweek comfort dinner. There’s something about that nutty, creamy, basil-y flavour that just hits different. But pesto can also be quite an expensive sauce to make (pine nuts don’t come cheap), gemfibrozil nosebleeds and while it’s got lots of healthy fats and herb-based antioxidants, it’s often low on fibre. 

This green pasta alternative, however, is like pesto… only better. Instead of basil and pine nuts, it uses courgettes and tahini to create a rich plant sauce. Tahini is a great source of copper (great for iron absorption), selenium (decreases inflammation) and phosphorus (involved in maintaining bone health). Sesame seeds, the main ingredient of tahini, have also been found to decrease high blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Courgettes, on the other hand, are rich in vitamin A and C, as well as carotenoids (antioxidants linked to better eye, skin and heart health). They’re also known to promote healthy digestion, thanks to its fibre and water content – so if you’re often constipated or bloated, this pasta dish could well help.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Olive oil

½ large white onion (diced)

6 garlic cloves (minced)

2 large courgettes, cubed

400g wholegrain pasta 

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 cup fresh basil

¾ cup oat milk (or any alternative)

¼ cup tahini

Salt and black pepper

½ lemon (juiced)

Nutritional yeast to serve

Method

Heat a glug of oil in a large pan and fry the onions until fragrant.

Add the garlic and courgette. Season with 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper and fry until soft.

Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. While you do that, boil your pasta until al dente (100g per person).

Drain and reserve a little of that pasta water.

While the pasta cooks, add all the other ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.

Add the blended sauce back into the pan, heat before adding the cooked pasta and pasta water (about 150ml).

Stir together while it reheats. 

Add salt and pepper to taste, plate up and top with a generous serving of nutritional yeast for that vitamin B12 boost.

Image: Serena Patel/@the.foodie.analyst

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