Pesto is always a favourite of mine to make. It is simple, tasty and goes with such a variety of ingredients. A new combination came to me based mostly on what I already had at hand: pork mince and sweet potato. Pork mince is often used in combination with beef mince in a traditional Bolognese sauce, or in Asian cuisine, however, it is seldom used on its own and I have never come across it with pesto. It worked beautifully with the richness of the pesto and was lifted by the sweet potato.
The pesto is best used on the day you make it as freshness is imperative. You’ll be amazed at how superior it is to the store-bought variety. Notice the colour for a start: vivid green, not that dull khaki. You can use pine nuts if you wish. I find cashews work just as well as it is more about texture than flavour, and they are much more economical.
- bunch basil
- 75ml extra virgin olive oil
- big fat thumb size piece of Parmesan
- handful of cashews
- 3 cloves of garlic
- salt, pepper and sugar to taste
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and whiz up. Check to see if the flavours are balanced and adjust with the seasoning, including sugar until they are.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- 200g spaghetti
- 200g pork mince
- 2 small sweet potatoes, diced into 1cm cubes
- one batch pesto
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
- Bake sweet potato until cooked through. Approximately 20 minutes or so.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Around 8 minutes.
- While spaghetti is cooking, pan-fry pork mince on medium heat and when almost cooked, add the cooked sweet potato and the pesto. Stir through so everything is evenly coated.
- Drain spaghetti and serve with the sauce.