5 ways with pesto

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Ways with pesto

Whether you make your own or buy pesto, these 5 recipes are sure to become firm favourites

Roasted baby potatoes with pesto and peas
Serves 4

Preheat oven to 230˚C/210˚C fan/gas mark 8. Line a large baking tray with tin foil. Place 450g baby potatoes in a bowl, cutting any larger ones in half. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, season well and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on the prepared baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and cook 150g frozen peas for 1-2 minutes until thawed but still bright green. Drain in a sieve. In a bowl, combine the roasted potatoes and peas. Add 50g basil pesto and 40g grated Parmesan and toss to coat.

Pesto mussels
Serves 4

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden. Add 1kg cleaned and de-bearded mussels and 200ml white wine. Cover tightly and cook for 3-4 minutes until all of the mussels have opened, tossing gently with a slotted spoon about halfway through. Divide the mussels between serving bowls, discarding any that haven’t opened and reserving the broth in the pot. Add 4 tbsp pesto and 2 tbsp cream to the pot and stir to combine. Pour the pesto broth over the bowls of mussels and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Baked sundried tomato gnocchi
Serves 2

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and cook 450g gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain well. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray, then add the cooked gnocchi along with 4 tbsp sundried tomato pesto and 20g softened butter. Season with salt and black pepper and toss to coat. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and bake for 10-12 minutes until the top is golden.

Crunchy pesto croutons
Serves 6-8

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. In a bowl, toss together 200g x 1cm cubes of stale bread, 4 tbsp pesto and 2½ tbsp olive oil. Spread the cubes of bread out in a single layer across two baking trays. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and crunchy, tossing halfway through. Serve as a topping for your favourite soups and salads.

So-speedy chicken and pesto soup
Serves 4

In a large saucepan, stir together 1l good-quality chicken stock, 400g baby spinach, 250g cooked shredded chicken and 2 x 400g tins of cannellini beans. Place over a high heat and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium and stir in 50g fresh basil pesto. Continue to simmer for 6-8 minutes longer. Divide between serving bowls and top with grated Parmesan, if desired.