If you usually save pasta for special occasions, this recipe might convince you to add it to your regular round up. Tim Ryder, founder of The Cooks Grocer (a meal delivery service that puts together healthy, pre-shopped-for and measured-out ingredients straight to your door), has once again given us an easy step-by-step recipe that is sure to pack a punch in the flavour department without breaking the calorie balance. Tim has created wholemeal pasta with zucchini flowers, pesto and ricotta – a light and easy addition to summer lunches.
Swapping out regular white pasta for wholemeal offers the nutritional benefits of low GI, meaning we stay fuller for longer and it gives us lasting energy to take on the day. Zucchini flowers are an awesome addition to this dish as they are packed full of potassium, which is great for lowering blood pressure. As Ryder explains, “good levels of potassium are key to your skin maintaining its natural electrolyte balance, ensuring you skin is moisturised from within,” adding that there are only a few times in the year when zucchini flowers are in season, so now is the time to make the most of them.
185g Wholemeal spaghetti
6 – 8 Asparagus spears
4 - 6 Zucchini flowers
150g Fresh ricotta
1/4 Cup good quality fresh basil pesto (or homemade!)
1/4 Cup shaved parmesan cheese
1/2 Teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
1. COOK THE PASTA
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a teaspoon of salt. Cook pasta until al dente (see packet instructions), drain and drizzle over olive oil and toss lightly to prevent sticking.
2. PREPARE VEGETABLES
Whilst pasta is cooking, fill a kettle with water and bring to the boil. Remove woody ends of the asparagus and cut in thirds on an angle. Remove flowers from the zucchini stalks and cut the stalks into rounds. Place in a bowl with a little salt and cover with the boiled water. Soak for 3 minutes and drain.
3. TO SERVE
Combine pesto, hot pasta and vegetables in a large bowl or platter. Season well with salt and pepper. Top with scattered spoonful’s of of ricotta, torn zucchini flowers and finely diced chilli to your taste (optional). Finish with shaved parmesan and serve into bowls.
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Story by Isabella Ousby