Perk up brown rice pasta with a fresh coriander chilli macadamia pesto

Brown rice pasta with coriander chilli macadamia pesto.
Brown rice pasta with coriander chilli macadamia pesto.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Sporting events are opportunities to start on a healthier lifestyle of regular exercise and better food choices.

Here is a recipe for brown rice pasta with coriander chilli macadamia pesto that I came up with specially for readers who signed up for The Straits Times Run on Sept 23. It is easy to prepare and nutritious too.

Do rinse and allow the vegetables to dry before putting them in a blender. You can make the sauce in advance and store it chilled in an airtight glass jar. It should keep for up to five days.

The amount of olive oil needed depends on whether you are using a blender or food processor. With a food processor, use about 150ml of extra virgin olive oil.

This coriander chilli macadamia nut pesto is one of my favourite sauces as it is fresh-tasting and versatile. I use it as a dip and also as a sauce to bake chicken and fish.

Brown rice pasta with coriander chilli macadamia pesto

INGREDIENTS 

For the pesto (380g)

5 green finger chillies (100g), cut into 3cm pieces

1 red chilli padi (optional)

80g macadamia nuts

3 garlic cloves

100ml extra virgin olive oil

60g lemon juice (1 fresh lemon)

1½ tsp salt

50g English parsley, stems removed, cut into 4cm long

80g coriander, cut into 4cm long

For the pasta

2.4 litres of water (100g of uncooked spaghetti to 1 litre of water)

3 tsp salt

240g uncooked brown rice spaghetti

300g of pesto

3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (optional)

8 baby tomatoes, quartered

METHOD

1. Prepare the pesto: In a blender, place the green chillies, red chilli padi if using, macadamia nuts, garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and English parsley. Pulse several times then blend until smooth.

2. Add the coriander and pulse to coarsely chop the coriander.

3. To store, transfer mixture into an airtight glass jar and keep refrigerated for up to a week.

4. Prepare the pasta: Bring 2.4 litres of water to a boil in a large pot. Season the water with salt and allow the water to come to a boil again.

5. Place the spaghetti in the pot and boil for 11 minutes uncovered. Drain the spaghetti into a colander. Rinse the spaghetti with cool water.

6. Transfer the spaghetti back into the pot. Add the pesto and extra virgin olive oil. Mix well. Add in the baby tomatoes and mix well.

7. Serve immediately.

Serves four

For more information on the run, go to straitstimesrun.com.