The warm weather has come our way at last. And what a difference it's made! The wintery jumpers are finally ready to go away and so are the heavy coats - though I have to say I'll miss my beautiful grey trench coat - and I'm just about to switch to a lighter duvet in order to sleep a little more peacefully.
Shopping is in full swing - bright t-shirts in jewelled colours, pale blue cotton blouses and (of course), little flowered dresses to be paired with tan sandals. And let's not forget lilac nail polish (and eyeshadow if you're adventurous), coral lips and that all-important visit to the hairdressers for the annual cut and blow dry.
Lighter evenings means that dinnertime comes later - on weekends anyway - and with that there is also some degree of laziness. Who really wants to spend an hour in the kitchen when there are hazy evening walks to be enjoyed?
This recipe takes only twenty minutes from start to finish and what's more, is full of fresh spring flavours such as pea and mint. Long tendrils of spaghetti are paired with a minty green pesto, mixed with wilted spinach and sprinkled with bacon. Add a little cheese and you're done! A lovely change from traditional pesto.
Spinach Pasta with Pea and Mint Pesto (serves 4 generously)
300g spaghetti (or other dried pasta)
200g baby spinach
3 - 4 rashers streaky bacon
200g frozen garden peas/petits pois, defrosted
handful of fresh mint, leaves picked
small handful of pine nuts
1 small garlic clove
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Boil a pan of water and cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, make the pesto: blitz the peas, mint leaves, pine nuts, garlic, cheese and oil together until they form a sauce. Add more oil or a bit of pasta water to loosen, if wanted. Spoon into a small bowl.
2. Fry the bacon and cut into pieces. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, place back in the pan and add the spinach to the pan. Cover with a lid and leave for a few minutes for the spinach to wilt.
3. Once the spinach has wilted, stir in the bacon. Serve the pasta with the pesto, extra parmesan and a little olive oil, if you like.