Pasta with watercress and cashew pesto

Watercress and cashew pesto

So… if you had a big bunch of watercress, what would you do with it?

Having never bought watercress before (remembering that I couldn’t even identify it…) the first thing that came to mind was soup. But soup – although it has its place – is a bit boring to blog.

I had too much watercress just to use it as a garnish but thankfully pesto came to mind.

Watercress and cashew pesto

The pesto was easy – I made it in the Thermomix but a food processor would be just as good. To eat it, I cooked up some fresh pappardelle, and tossed a generous amount of pesto through with chopped tomatoes and olives. The pesto was a bit peppery and bitter because of the watercress, so it was good to the sweetness of the tomatoes to offset it a bit.

Watercress and cashew pesto

It was a really satisfying meal, although I can’t say I’ll be making watercress a regular buy. But at least I now know what it looks like!

Pasta with watercress and cashew pesto

Rating: 31

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 4

Pasta with watercress and cashew pesto


  • 120g watercress sprigs
  • 50 grated parmesan
  • 150g roasted cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 400g fresh pappardelle
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 15 pitted olives, cut in half


    Thermomix method for the pesto
  1. Place the garlic cloves in the Thermomix bowl. Close lid and process on speed 8 for 1-2 seconds.
  2. Add 80g of the watercress with the parmesan, cashews, and lemon rind and process on speed 5 for about 5 seconds.
  3. Add the olive oil and process on speed 5 until combined, or until you're happy with the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Non-Thermomix method for the pesto
  5. Place 80g of the watercress into a food processor, along with the parmesan, cashews, lemon rind, and roughly chopped garlic. Turn the food processor on and gradually add the oil. Process until you're happy with the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. For the pasta
  7. Roughly chop the rest of the watercress and set aside.
  8. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente.
  9. Toss the pasta with about half the pesto, tomatoes, olives and the remaining watercress and serve.
  10. (Note: this recipe will make more pesto than you'll need for one meal. Store the rest in the fridge and use within a week.)


Adapted from