16 March 2018 / Food

Creamy ‘Pesto’ Protein Pasta with Hidden Greens

Pasta, the ultimate comfort food — most of us love it. But we don’t always love the bloated, sluggish and uncomfortable feelings that we can experience after eating it. I’ve made a delicious, lighter and nutritious pasta dish to satisfy those pasta cravings and leave you
feeling good!

This recipe is high in protein from the ‘Pulse Pasta’ itself which is made from Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas and Borlotti beans.

With the addition of chickpeas to the Green ‘Pesto’ Pasta Sauce and the tuna in this recipe, you’ll feel full and satisfied for longer.

Protein is not only essential for muscle repair and growth but it’s also important for the structure of your bones, skin, nails, tendons and ligaments! So where I’m heading with this, is that protein isn’t just important for athletes but it's vital for us general folk as well.

I’ve purposefully made this recipe using avocado to give the dish the creamy texture and boost your intake of good fats, coupled with the olive oil from the tuna this will also help you feel fuller for longer. I also think it’s fair to say that us Kiwis probably aren’t getting in enough dark green leafy vegetables which should be a staple in our diet. The darker the leaf generally means the more nutrients it contains. I used beautiful fresh Parsley, Basil and Cavolo Nero from the Otago Farmers Market. These greens which are sneakily hidden in the Green ‘Pesto’ Pasta sauce, give a great green boost and flavour punch to the meal! Zucchinis and tomatoes are also in great abundance at this time of year.

The zucchini noodles add more bulk to the meal while getting in your extra green veggies and the tomatoes pairs magically with the basil. I love this recipe. It has been my go-to pasta meal this month while being at University and it leaves me enough for lunches the next few days! I really hope you enjoy this recipe and make sure to post a photo on Instagram and hashtag
#gabbypalmereats so that I can see your great creations!

Bon Appétit

Gabby Palmer xx

Creamy ‘Pesto’ Protein Pasta with Hidden Greens

Serves 4

*Gluten Free
*Dairy Free
*Nut Free
*Vegan/Vegetarian options available


- 250g packet of San Remo Pulse Pasta Spaghetti
- 1 can of tuna in olive oil
- 2-3 good sized tomatoes
- 2 medium/large spiralized zucchinis
Green ‘Pesto’ Pasta Sauce:
- 1 can drained chickpeas
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 medium-sized Avocado
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T olive oil
- 3 T water
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup chopped leafy greens (your choice of spinach, cavolo nero, silverbeet)
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large, lightly salted pot of water to the boil.
2. Add Pasta and reduce heat to a simmer.
3. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until just cooked through. Drain pasta and add back to the
4. Add the can of Tuna in Olive Oil at this point so the oil can prevent the cooked pasta
from clumping.
5. To make the Green ‘Pesto’ Pasta Sauce add all ingredients to a food processor and
mix until well combined and no lumps.
6. Add to pasta and tuna and mix well.
7. Chop Tomatoes into small pieces and add the spiralled zucchini noodles.
8. Serve hot or cold and store any leftovers in the fridge for lunches the next day!

*To make this dish Vegan/Vegetarian simply omit the tuna and add 1 extra can of rinsed
chickpeas folded through the pasta.