Perfect for spring, this ricotta pasta pesto is lighter in colour than the normal recipe

Ricotta pesto pasta

Creamier in texture and lighter in colour than traditional pesto, this sauce is the perfect springtime pasta accompaniment. For a more substantial meal feel free to experiment with strips of cooked turkey or chicken breast.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

200g good quality, dried pasta

1 small red onion, finely diced

2 handfuls frozen petit pois

10-15 cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed

1 large handful fresh basil

1 handful pinenuts, toasted

2 heaped tbsp ricotta

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Seasoning

Method:

Using a food processor or handheld blender, blitz together the basil, toasted pinenuts and ricotta. Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and generous amounts of salt and pepper.

Place a large pan of water on to boil. Whilst this heats up gently fry the red onion pieces in a little sunflower or nut oil. Once cooked through, transfer the onion to a plate and leave to one side.

Add a glug of olive oil and some sea salt to the now boiling water. Tip in the pasta and stir to ensure it doesn’t clump together.

Keeping an eye on the pasta, add the garlic to the used onion pan and then the whole cherry tomatoes. After about 5 minutes the skins will start to blister and char. Check that they are soft all the way through before removing from the heat.

Roughly halfway through the pastas cooking time-check the packet for instructions-pour in the frozen peas.

Once the pasta and pea mixuture has finished cooking, drain it and return to the saucepan over a low heat. Combine with the tomato, garlic-covered onion and pesto, stirring gently until everything has reached the same temperature.

** Read more spring recipes from Country Life