Recipe: Wholewheat pasta with rocket and almond pesto

Recipe: Wholewheat pasta with rocket and almond pesto

A 30-minute evening meal for high cholesterol 

Just because you follow a diet to help lower your cholesterol doesn’t mean you have to miss out on creamy pasta dishes. This quick and easy meal is ideal after work, and is made with a homemade pesto that contains cholesterol-reducing almonds.

Soaking the almonds first makes them creamier. You can pre-soak and freeze them, or soak and leave them in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Add some chopped vegetables to the pasta pan for the last few minutes of cooking to increase your veg intake too.

Remember to use the best-quality olive oil and hard cheese that you can – they have more flavour, so you can use less of them.

Ingredients for wholewheat pasta with a zingy almond pesto

Ingredients for wholewheat pasta with a zingy almond pesto

Serves 2

  • 20 g whole almonds
  • 90-100 g rocket leaves
  • 1 dsp olive oil
  • 10 g Parmesan or other strong-flavoured hard Italian cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 120 g wholewheat pasta
  • Handful broccoli or cauliflower florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces.


  1. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with water, leave in the fridge to soak for at least six hours or leave them overnight.
  2. Place the almonds, half of the rocket, olive oil, Parmesan, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest into a food processor, blender or mini chopper and whizz until you have a semi-smooth paste. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.  Add the broccoli or cauliflower for the last two minutes of the cooking time.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, scoop out half a mug of the pasta water and reserve. Drain the pasta.
  5. Add the pesto to the pasta pan with a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water. Gently warm, adding a little more water if needed to make a silky smooth sauce that will stick to the pasta.
  6. Add the pasta and the rest of the rocket. Stir well to coat the pasta and serve immediately.
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