Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Storecupboard Challenge Day 3 - Spinach pesto with pasta

I've been forced to take a day off work - my eldest daughter, Ruby, dislocated her knee sometime ago and she is back on crutches, in pain and unable to go to school. So, I have an opportunity to make up some pesto for tea tonight. This is ideal as Seren has a dance competition after school and I won't have much time to cook.

This is pesto with a difference - it contains a few additional flavours such as lemon and chilli and it also contains a large handful of spinach. I've tried spinach with them as a side dish but they didn't like it so i've hidden it. I do this all the time now, with lots of dishes and will do a few more over the coming weeks.

I've got a few ideas in mind for meals for the rest of the week:
  • Chicken, chickpea and spinach curry with roti and onion bhaji
  • Chorizo and chickpea stew
  • Homemade cheeseburgers with onion rings and salad
  • Cream of spring vegetable soup
As always my shopping list is below the recipe for pesto.

Spinach pesto with pasta

Traditional pesto is gorgeous and my kids really like it, so I took the opportunity to add spinach to it to see if they noticed and they didn't. It is quick and easy for me to make and depending on how much you use it will last a few days. I've used cashew nuts instead of pine nuts because they are cheaper and to be honest there's no real difference.

150g pasta
1 small bunch of basil
1 large handful of spinach, washed and dried
25g cashew nuts, toasted
1 small clove garlic
zest of 1 lemon
1 tspn dried chilli flakes or 1/4 chopped fresh chilli
75g grated parmesan cheese
100ml olive oil

1) Cook pasta according to packet instructions
2) Make the pesto by placing the toasted cashews and other ingredients (except for olive oil and parmesan) in a large food processor and whizz up. I like mine quite smooth but you can make it to the texture you like. Add the parmesan and then gradually add the oil and if it isn't enough (i.e. pesto too dry) then add a little more.
3) Stir in the pasta and serve with a little more parmesan if you like.

4 types of flour - plain, self raising, gram and bread
caster sugar
salt and pepper
sunflower oil for frying
marigold vegetable stock

Storecupboard items
Pasta (500g) - £1.00
Chopped tinned tomatoes (400g) x 2 - 31p for basics, 59p for own brand and 98p for Napolina
Medium curry powder (80g) - 99p
Extra virgin olive oil (500ml) - £1.99
Rice - basics long grain 45p for 1kg or £1.46 for 500g basmati
Bread, unsliced (800g) - £1.20
Cashew nuts (90g) - £1.44
Dried porcini mushrooms (25g) - £1.78

Total: £9.47 (basics)

Fruit and veg items
Herbs - 2 for £2
Onions - 98p (kg)
Garlic - 30p (clove)
Potatoes (new) - £1.00 (kg)
Mixed peppers - £1.35 (600g)
Carrots - 75p (1.5kg)
Mixed chilli - 54p
Lemon - 30p
Tomatoes - 72p (450g)
Frozen Peas - £1.75 (900g)

Total: £9.69

Fridge items
- Parmesan - £2.30 (250g)
- Cheddar - £1.50 (330g, basics) or £2.50 (300g own brand)
Chorizo (cooking) - £2.39 (225g)
Cream - 95p (300ml)
Natural yogurt - 54p (basics) or £1.00 (own brand)
Ham - 85p (basics, 200g) or £3.00 (breaded, own brand)
Parma ham - £2.00 (70g) or £2.69 (85g)
Eggs (dozen) - £1.40 (barn) or £2.50 (free range)
Whole chicken (medium) - £4.00 (standard), £6.00 (free range), £8.00 (organic)
Minced beef (500g) - 96p (standard mince) or £2.96 (minced steak)

Total: £16.89 (basics)

Basket Total: £36.05 (basics)

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