Wholewheat pasta with rocket and almond pesto

  • 20min
  • 2
  • 465 kcal
  • Intermediate
  • Dairy , Nuts , Gluten

Per 206 g contains

465 kcal 1947 kj
20 g
3 g
4.5 g
0.4 g

of an adult's recommended intake.
Typical energy values per 100g: 945kj/226kcal

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Authored by Peer reviewed by Gemma Grange
Originally published

A 30-minute evening meal for those with 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.


For the pesto
  • Whole almonds
    20g 0.7oz
  • Rocket leaves
    100g 3.5oz
  • Olive oil
    1 tbsp
  • Parmesan, finely grated
  • Soy sauce
    1 tsp
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
For the pasta
  • Broccoli or cauliflower
    160g 5.6oz
  • Wholewheat pasta
    120g 4.2oz
Show all

Cooking Method

  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.

Nutritional Information

Typical Valuesper 100gper 206g serving
226 kcal
945 kj
465 kcal
1947 kj
of which saturates
9.8 g
1.4 g
20 g
3 g
of which sugars
21 g
2.2 g
43 g
4.5 g
Fibre6 g
12.3 g
Protein10 g
22 g
Salt0.2 g
0.4 g


It is suggested that almonds increase vitamin E levels, which helps to lower cholesterol. As with most other nuts they also contain healthy fats that, when consumed in moderation, may contribute towards good heart health. 


There are many studies that suggest the consumption of plants like rocket/arugula decreases the risk of issues such as heart disease

Wholewheat pasta

Whole grains are particularly high in dietary fibre, which promotes health digestion and, in turn, helps to lower cholesterol levels. 

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