Pesto pasta salad

Pesto pasta salad
This pasta salad is great for a quick dinner or as a next-day packed lunch
Serves 4  / 
Prep TBA  / 
Cook 40 mins


400g dried fusilli pasta
1 clove of garlic
50g walnut halves
100g cheddar cheese, grated
100g fresh spinach
100ml rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
150g cherry tomatoes


1. Heat a really large pan of water to the boil, with a lid for speed. When the water is at a rolling and rapid boil, season (with salt if you prefer) before tipping in the pasta. Stir to mix up the pasta and return the lid to bring it back to a boil as quickly as possible. Cook the pasta in the rapidly boiling water for 9 minutes (or a minute less than it says on the packet) taking care that the water doesn’t boil over with the lid on, but that the water has a lot of movement to stop the pasta sticking together.

2. Peel the clove of garlic and add it to a food processor. Add in the nuts, cheese and washed spinach. Pour in the oil, then close the food processor and blitz to a coarse paste.

3. Season to taste and add a little more oil if required to get the right consistency. You’re aiming for something that is thick enough to cling to pasta, but not so thick and coarse that you can spoon it onto a plate in blobs.

4. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, then dump into the boiling water with the pasta for the last minute of cooking just to warm through.

5. Spoon in the pesto and stir it all up, then season to taste before serving immediately if you want it hot/warm. Alternatively, transfer to a cold container along with 50ml of extra cold water and give it a good mix to stop it drying out and becoming claggy. Once cooled completely, cover with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can take small batches to work/school in a packed lunch as it is best not eaten directly from the fridge when cold.