Spaghetti With Pesto And Parmesan

Spaghetti with pesto and pasta

What can we possibly say about spaghetti that hasn't already been said? The poster child of Italian cuisine is the world's best-known pasta shape, thanks in part to Hollywood, where it has made cameo appearances in everything from Goodfellas to Lady and the Tramp.

Even the BBC has played a part in spaghetti's legendary status. Their 1957 April Fools' joke that spaghetti grows on trees was swallowed hook line and sinker by Brits who were at the time unfamiliar with the pasta shape.

As for eating, well, spaghetti goes with pretty much anything you throw at it. A herby, tomato-based sauce is traditional, although Italian-American influences have ensured that in large parts of the world, Bolognese and meatballs are the go-to pairing.

Pro tip
When buying spaghetti, check the pack to see whether it has been made with a "bronze die." This will mean it has a more textured surface than budget pasta, ensuring sauces stick to it better. You may need to get this from your local deli rather than your local supermarket.

Ingredients for two
Sometimes, when you have top-quality ingredients and almost zero time and energy, the simplest meals are the best.

Spaghetti 150g
Pesto 100g
Parmesan as needed

Boil 75g of spaghetti per person in a saucepan of lightly salted water until al dente.

Confiscate a tablespoon or two of the pasta water before draining.

Return the spaghetti to the pan and add, off the heat, the pasta water and pesto.

Serve with plenty of well-aged Parmesan cheese, and worry about getting your 5-a-day tomorrow.