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Recipe Collection

Rocket & Hazelnut Pesto with Green Beans

If you were patiently waiting for summer for basil season before making pesto, you’re a fool, my friend! All this time you could be making it with those incongruous little bags of rocket in your local supermarket.

A classic pesto is delicious, but try it with peppery rocket and deep hazelnuts through lots of spaghetti. The green beans add a lightness and make it even more perfect for the season.

Makes: 450g pesto, enough for 4-6 pasta servings

Season: Summer

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


75g hazelnuts
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
½ tsp salt, plus extra, to taste
150g wild rocket

200g olive oil
40g finely grated parmesan
200g green beans
500g spaghetti


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 5-6 minutes. Pinch a couple of them; the skins should shed easily. If not, return to the oven for another minute or so, but keep an eye on them.

  2. Remove from the oven and while still hot, place in a tea towel and vigorously rub to remove the skins, then place in a food processor (a blender is fine, but processor gives better texture) along with the garlic and salt. Blitz until you have breadcrumbs, then add the rocket and pulse blitz until finely chopped. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a quick, steady stream. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese and check the seasoning.

  3. Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes before plunging into ice cold water to stop them cooking. Cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions in the same water you used to boil the green beans, adding a little more if needed.

  4. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a cup of the starchy water. Transfer the pesto to the saucepan, add in the spaghetti, green beans and pasta water, and toss well to ensure fully coated. Serve with lots of parmesan cheese and a glug of olive oil.

— about the author

Georgia Levy is a recipe developer, food writer and consultant whose upbringing in rural Oxfordshire revolved around two questions: what are you reading, and what’s for dinner? With a mother determined to grow her own and a seasoned food writer for a father, pursuing the union between food and words was Georgia’s natural calling. Her cooking is exactly what you want to be doing in your kitchen, with good, seasonal, simple recipes. Her first cookbook, Let’s Do Lunch, will be published in September 2022.


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