Marvellous mushroom pesto

This recipe! What's not to love? It's cheap, tasty and packed with goodness in the form of some sneaky spinach. It's a true family favourite and with a few tweaks, is a very respectable meal for mates too.

Rather like my gnocchi recipe, I've played fast and loose with the term 'pesto' here (sorry Italy!)  but I use this in the same way I'd use traditional pesto: stirred into pasta, spread on toasted bread, eaten by the teaspoon straight from a jar....


1 medium onion, roughly chopped

450g mushrooms (just the cheap basic ones), roughly chopped

120g frozen spinach  

20g butter

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 springs of fresh thyme  

6 sage fresh leaves, chopped if you can be bothered, I usually can't

1 tsp dried oregano

Parmesan (or mature cheddar) to sprinkle on the finished dish

Serves 2 Adults and two children


Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and spinach, stir for two minutes, then turn heat to lowest setting and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the frozen spinach blocks. 

*If you're just cooking for adults, add 100ml of white wine here. Turn the heat up until it simmers and cook for 2 mins*

Add the herbs and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then stick the mixture in a blender and blitz to required consistency. Veg refusing kids might need a finer texture than adults.  

Stir the mixture in to a drained pan of your pasta of choice, sprinkle with finely grated cheese if you fancy, and serve.

Just a quick word on fresh herbs: This week Aldi was selling lovely terracotta pots of fresh herbs for £2.99.

Herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary don't need a lot of love. Stick 'em by the back door (or on an outside window sill if you don't have a back door) and leave them to it. You could substitute the fresh ones in the recipe for 1/2 tsp of dried but you'll taste the difference.