Apr 262013
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Antipasto Salad and Spaghetti with Pesto

In Italian, antipasto means “before the meal”. It is served at the table as a first course and traditionally consists of cured meats, cheeses, olives and a variety of vegetables.


My recipe for Antipasto Salad and Spaghetti with Pesto departs from a traditional antipasto platter in two important ways. First, it is entirely vegetarian (we all need to eat more veggies, don’t we?). Second, there is a swirl of pasta with fresh homemade pesto on the side (pasta should never make an appearance on an antipasto plate).


It makes a delicious and varied lunch plate which offers both variety and simplicity!

Antipasto Salad and Spaghetti with Pesto 

(Serves 4)



1 plump garlic clove

40g / 1.5oz basil leaves without stalks (that’s usually 2 bunches of basil leaves from my local market)

25g / 1oz pine nuts

1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

75g / 3oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese

6 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil



  1. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until fairly smooth.
  2. Makes enough pesto for 400g dried pasta.
  3. To serve, freshly boil 400g dried pasta until al dente. Drain and then toss with the pesto.
  4. Serve immediately.




8-10 pattypan, sliced in half width-wise

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, diced

80g dried breadcrumbs (store-bought or home-made)

pinch of salt

handful of parsley

40-80mL milk (use just enough to make the mixture stick together)



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Boil the sliced pattypan for 3 minutes. Drain, let cool a little, and then carefully scoop out a bit from the center of each pattypan (without making a hole all the way through). Finely chop the inside bits you have scooped out – they will be used in the stuffing mixture.

  3. Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until softened but not colored.

  4. Add the chopped pattypan insides to the onions and garlic. Combine well and remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, breadcrumbs and salt, and mix well.

  5. Add milk a little at a time until the breadcrumb stuffing mixture starts to stick together nicely.

  6. Add a small spoonful of stuffing into the space in the center of the pattypan halves. Refrigerate now if not baking straightaway.

  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.




1 bunch of fresh asparagus

2 pinches of coarse sea salt / kosher salt

some extra virgin olive oil



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Place the asparagus in an oven tray or oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil and roast in oven for 10-12 minutes.




2 ripe avocados

1 ball of mozzarella cheese

Ripe tomatoes (I used 3 regular tomatoes and 12 cherry tomatoes – use whatever combination you like)

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar



  1. Slice tomatoes, avocados and mozzarella and place on plates.

  2. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.



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