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Homemade Pesto

Pesto Pasta with Cannellini Beans and Halloumi

Serves up to 4, takes around 30 minutes

Cost Per Shop: $27.20

Cost Per Meal: $20.10

Cost Per Serve: $5.00


  • 1/3c olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 fresh chilli OR ½ tsp chilli flakes

  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme

  • 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • ½ pack of pasta - something like orecchiette or fusilli

  • 3c vege or chicken stock

  • 1/4c lemon juice

  • 100g halloumi - very finely grated

Pesto ingredients*:

  • 1/3c pine nuts or almonds

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • pack of rocket ~100g fresh** 

  • 1/2c parsley or basil or combo

  • 1/3c olive oil

*you can purchase premade pesto to make this cheaper!

**I saved money by using herbs from my mum's garden, bulk buying frozen chilli and stock cubes.


  • Put a large pot (for which you have a lid) over a med/high heat and add the first measure of oil, the garlic and chilli. Stir once it begins to sizzle and smell yum. This should take about 2 minutes, you’ll know you're ready for the next step when the garlic is going golden in colour.

  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients (thyme, beans, pasta, stock). Bring to a simmer (when it’s gently bubbling away), reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for approximately 12 min. Stir occasionally.

  • Once it’s cooked, remove from the heat, take the lid off and let it sit for 5 mins to absorb some more liquid.

  • While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. To a food processor, add the nuts, garlic, leafy greens, herbs, half of the oil and 1/3tsp of salt. Pulse to combine, you might need to scrape the sides of the food processor to combine the ingredients. Once it resembles a pesto, transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the oil to make the pesto runny.

  • Once you’ve made the pesto, it’ll be about time to serve! Stir the lemon juice and half of the pesto through the pasta. Scoop into bowls, sprinkle over the grated halloumi and dollop some extra pesto over the top.

  • Enjoy, sprinkle more halloumi as you get to the bottom of your bowl

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