For me la dolce vita is soaking in the afternoon sunshine at the garden table, our chairs askew, wafts of freshly cut grass and bees buzzing, with spaghetti scooped and shared sky-high out of a large bowl, forks twirling and easy laughter between happy mouthfuls.
Avocado Basil Pesto with Wholegrain Spaghetti
Serves 4-6 people
800g baby tomatoes
3/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 and 1/2 lemons, juiced
3/4 tsp salt
3 large handfuls basil leaves
400g wholewheat spaghetti
50g watercress (half a packet) or rocket
Set the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Cut the baby tomatoes into halves, spread on a lined baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. These will be chucked into your pasta as you are ready to serve along with the watercress or rocket.
Meanwhile, prepare the avocado basil pesto. In a food processor, whizz the avocados, garlic, salt and lemon juice until smooth. If you like things extra garlicky feel free to add another clove. Add the basil leaves and toasted pine nuts and whizz again until you get the rough texture of pesto. Check the seasoning and adjust if needed.
Prepare the wholewheat pasta according to the manufacturer’s instructions in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain and put the pasta back into the original pot along with the pesto and roasted baby tomatoes, and toss together. Spoon into a big bowl on a bed of watercress or rocket.