Rotini, one of the lesser-known pasta varieties, takes on a corkscrew-like shape and is traditionally made with semolina flour. Literally meaning “twists” in Italian, Rotini is enchantingly like fusilli, except the helix of the ‘corkscrew’ is much tighter. Its origins can be found amongst the scenic Northern regions of Italy where its creation was inspired by i bambini – children – due to its versatility with recipe and because it’s a simply a fun shape to eat!
Rotini can be paired with almost any sauce, from rich tomato ragùs and creamy sauces to pasta salads and oil-based recipes. This is because their elegant twists are incredibly good at capturing the sauce within its coils, ensuring a beautiful pasta-to-sauce ratio with each tasty bite.
For this recipe we are wishfully holding onto the last of the summer and pairing the Rotini with chef Roberta’s deliciously peppery rocket pesto along with fresh cherry tomatoes, parmesan, and toasted pine nuts.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Calories per serving: 502kcal
For the pesto:
- 100g fresh rocket
- 40g Parmesan, grated
- 40g Pecorino Romano, thinly sliced
- 50g pine nuts
- 150ml extra virgin olive oil
For the dish:
- 400g dried Rotini (if you can’t find it then fusilli are a good substitute)
- 200g cherry tomatoes
- 30g pine nuts
- 1 Lemon (optional)
- Extra grated parmesan for sprinkling
- In a dry pan, lightly toast the pine nuts until they gain a golden-brown colour. Once toasted be sure to transfer them onto a cold plate so they don’t continue to cook and burn.
- Weigh out all the ingredients for pesto and place them one by one into a food processor or blender.
- Firmly close your blender and blitz momentarily until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Don’t blend for too long, as you want your pesto to have a slightly rough, grainy texture.
- Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted water according to packet instructions, checking a good 2 minutes before the end of the cooking time to ensure the pasta is perfectly al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, half the cherry tomatoes along the equator and place in a large bowl with the pesto.
- Once the pasta is cooked transfer into the bowl with the pesto & tomatoes, tossing it to ensure it's fully coated.
- If you like an extra citrus kick, cut a lemon in half and squeeze a little of the juice into the pasta and mix.
- Season with salt and pepper then sprinkle over the remaining pine nuts. Add a generous handful of grated parmesan on top and serve immediately. Buon Appetito!
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