This is a bit of a post of all sorts. The main idea is a basil pesto using almonds instead of pine-nuts. Not a basil pesto fan? Scroll down for a link to home-made pasta and recipe for a simple sauce.

The recipe also works as a mix of pine-nuts and almonds - try out different ratios, and it also works with just pine-nuts (will need to add more). I have blogged this recipe before, but basil is finally coming into season! Which means lots of pesto in our house. It was warm enough to plant the seeds, so I did that last week. In a few months when these seeds grow up I will do big batches of basil pesto, portion them into plastic containers and freeze. Take out the morning you wish to eat, you may need to add some extra olive oil. These are great for lazy dinners and quick work lunches. Serve with a salad or a quick tomato, avocado and red onion salsa.

This time when I made basil pesto, I added a squeeze of lemon juice. Make sure you use a good quality parmasan and olive oil. Click to get to the basil pesto recipe I blogged a few months ago.


I found pasta terribly difficult to photograph. I had a few ideas in mind from bloggers and food magazines I had seen, but really struggled with the composition to make the pasta look nice. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!


Last Friday night, as I had some leftover pesto in the fridge, I had the time to make fettuccine. This is worth doing if you have a simple sauce as the sauce doesn’t overpower the pasta. Click for the home-made pasta recipe. To make fettuccine, I followed the same processes of rolling out and working the pasta, but rolled out to 6, and used the attachment to cut into equal strips. Cass made this make-shift hanging space out of a wooden beam resting on a plastic container and a pot on each side.

For the leftover pasta, Cass whipped up a quick puttanesca inspired sauce (bacon sub for anchovy).

Quantities per person:

1 tbs olive oil

1 clove garlic. Finely chopped or microplaned.

1-2 fresh tomatoes. Roughly chopped.

1 long rasher of good quality bacon. Roughly sliced. (optional)

1 tbs capers

1 tsp chilli flakes

a small handful of kalamata olives

fresh herbs – about 1 tbs of oregano or thyme or rosemary (oregano + thyme work well, as does thyme + rosemary) and freshly chopped parsley to serve.

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

shaved parmasan to serve


In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and the garlic.
Add the bacon. Toss for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the chilli flakes, capers, olives and desired herbs (leave the parsley to top the dish). Toss for a minute.
Add the roughly chopped tomato. Leave to break down slightly.
Taste for salt and pepper.
When happy with the consistency, toss through the pasta. Plate up and top with freshly chopped parmasan and freshly chopped parsley.

Published by Zoe Crichton