Pesto pasta is the go-to recipe for a filling meat-free dinner. The pasta and pesto are ready in a flash so if you're short on time just fry up some tomatoes to finish off the dish. If you've got longer, throw whatever vegetables you have to hand into a roasting dish with a bit of oil and a pinch of salt.

It doesn't matter if the herbs for your pesto have seen better days, or the the veg is from last weeks shop, the pesto perfectly brings it all back to life.

Ingredients (serves 6)

For the pesto:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100 grams parmesan cheese (or 4 tablespoons of Engevita yeast flakes for plant-based alternative)
  • 100 grams pine nuts (can be substituted for cobnuts, hazlenuts or seeds)
  • Bunch of basil (or even parsley if that is what you have)
  • 40 millilitres of olive oil

For the pasta:

  • Mix of vegetables, large dice (1 courgette, 1 aubergine, 4 peppers) – use what you have available to a similar quantity
  • 250 grams tomatoes
  • 30 millilitres of olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 800 grams whole wheat pasta
  • 20 grams rocket
  • Small bunch of basil


  1. Preheat oven to 200 celsius. (If you're short on time fry some tomatoes in a pan and skip down to step 3.)
  2. Put all the vegetables in a roasting tray with a drizzle of oil and pinch of salt. Roast your veg in the hot oven for around 40 minutes.
    Whilst the vegetables are in the oven get started on the pesto: place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a paste. If you haven’t got a food processor, start with the dry ingredients in a pestle and mortar then add the olive oil when you have a thick paste.
  3. When the vegetables are looking soft, golden and cooked through remove from the oven. At this point cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water for 6 minutes, then drain.
  4. Cut the cooled vegetables into square pieces.
  5. Return the cooked pasta to the pan, add the vegetables, pesto and rocket.
  6. Stir and gently heat to warm through.

To serve

Portion and serve topped with basil and any leftover parmesan.