My younger two kids are still pretty fussy eaters. The four-year old would currently eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner if he had his own way. Thankfully, the eight year old is a real foodie and is exploring world food more and more. One of our family staples is pesto pasta. This is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, I know that everyone will eat it. We make it for the beach, picnics, and at least one meal a week.
I have recently been diagnosed with a thyroid problem (Hashimoto’s Thyroid for those who are interested), I am trying to manage it with a combination of herbal medicine and an anti inflammatory diet. In brief, not too much pasta for me for a while.
“Society anoint commercial e lavorazione alimentari” (otherwise known as Sacla) invited me to a dinner in Covent Garden, along with some lovely bloggers and writers, some of who I knew already and others I follow online but hadn’t met in real life.
There is always at least one jar of Sacla pesto in my store cupboard and I know that when we come back late from after school clubs, the days I forget to even think about tea as I am so busy with work, we can make something delicious with the pesto. In our case, it is normally a giant saucepan full of pasta, I chuck in frozen peas or green veg and add some pesto and cheese on top. A crowd pleaser and a good way to add green veg into something without them picking it out as they are too busy scoffing down the pasta to realise they are eating veg too.
Our dinner at the beautiful Cafe Murano, Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett’s restaurant was hosted by Sacla managing director, Clare Blampied. Clare is incredibly passionate about Sacla as a brand, this shone threw not only in her pre dinner talk where she was launching the new #kidslovepesto campaign but when she came round to us during the meal to chat.
Guest of honour was Rachel Allen is a tv food chef, author and teacher. She is mum to three children and loves preparing simple, delicious food from around the world for her family and friends. Pesto has always been one of her go to ingredients and Rachel has loved creating new recipes with Sacla for kids.
We were incredibly lucky to have our four course meal prepared for us by Angela, herself and we enjoyed fiery chilli pesto pasta with samphire, mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto followed by trofie pasta & Sacla’ fiery chilli pesto, whole sea bream, peperonata and Spring greens. I really shouldn’t have eaten the desert (due to my thyroid diet) but it was an insanely good muscovado tart and raspberries. This overtook my latest favourite, the chocolate bomb at The Ivy in Brighton and for me to choose a desert over chocolate is saying something.
On the train home I read the cookbook and the history of Sacla. The business is family run and has such a wonderful history to it. I don’t need to talk my kids into eating pesto, it’s a given but I am introducing them to a few new flavoured versions and my eight year old is loving the fiery chilli flavour. I can make a huge batch of pasta and then add whichever flavour they would like. I have a new favourite recipe from the book for myself and my husband. We cannot get enough of it.
The ingredients are so simple, but the combination is delicious. It takes minutes to chop up your veg, season with some olive oil, salt and pepper and then pop into the oven for around 35-40 minutes. Depending on whether you want your salad hot or cold, you stir in the pesto and add some rocket and parmesan shavings and you are good to go. We have been eating this for the last few weeks and I always have some in the fridge to eat as a standalone salad or to add to another meal.
Yesterday, I took some down to the beach and added some local samphire (three minutes in a frying pan with a little butter) and it was such a yummy beach lunch. The boy ate pesto pasta, but then he would wouldn’t he #kidslovepesto
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions and photos are my own.