Recipe: Nasturtium Pesto Linguine

Weeds. They’re just plants growing in the wrong place. They’re also free and abundant, and (if edible!) becoming recognised the world over as a sustainable food source. Nasturtium is one such plant. It’s a loveable garden escapee, with edible leaves, fruits and flowers.

Over tea our friend talks to us about her love of nasturtiums, describing childhood encounters clambering along the glossy lily pad covered hills of a NSW coastline. It’s not often this plant is appreciated – true to its weedy nature it more often finds itself being cursed, popping up wherever it can, uninvited, getting between grannies and their gardenias. We thought we’d bring some into the kitchen, in an unexpected (and cheap) twist on an always satisfying classic; pesto!

Nasturtium Pesto Linguine, With Toasted Pine Nuts & Currants

Serves 4-5 | Prep time – 40 mins | Cook time – 20 mins

Pesto

*makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of chopped nasturtium leaves, plus a handful of flowers if you can find them
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup of finely grated reggiano parmigiano
  • Pinch of salt

Place nasturtium leaves and half the olive oil in food processor and pulse a few times to get things going, add the remainder of the ingredients and blend until combined into a thick paste – add extra olive oil if you feel the pesto is too dry. Store in an airtight container and top with a little extra drizzle of olive oil.

Linguine

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp nasturtium pesto, or to taste
  • 300 g fresh linguine
  • ⅓ cup of pine nuts, toasted
  • ⅓ cup of dried currants

Place pine nuts in small frypan and dry roast until just brown, remove from pan and set aside. Bring large pot of salted water to the boil and add fresh pasta, cook for approximately 5 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain into colander then place back into warm saucepan. Add a good few tbsp of pesto to the pasta (we like our pasta nice and green, so we added 5 ). Stir through currants, pine nuts, and, serve.