At last.... I can finally tell you about my latest kitchen gadget that I'm a little bit in love with... my new blender! Until now, I really didn't see the point in having a stand-alone blender, thinking my stick-blender and mini-chopper surely did an equivalent job. Errrr... no. This is blending on a whole new level - the power of my new Froothie Optimum 9200A is quite incredible, and so far everything I've tried making in it, (soups, smoothies, sauces, pestos, cocktails and slushies, mousses and hummus) are just so ultra-smooth and creamy, a world away from my puny little mini-chopper. I'm now, (as you may have guessed), a total high-speed-blender
The Veg Space has joined a team of UK food blogs selected to be Froothie Ambassadors. I've been sent one of these fabulous machines to play with, and will be sharing recipes and blender tips(!) with you from time to time. It goes without saying that I wouldn't endorse a product like this unless I genuinely thought it was awesome. How awesome? Well, there's a video on their website of someone blending paving stones into dust in one (scroll to bottom of page). Oh yes, really. Crazy but true.
So, on to the recipe.... we're trying to cut down on dairy in our house, eating vegan as often as we can, and I've found that a super-powerful blender like this is a fabulous way of whizzing up ultra-creamy but dairy-free sauces. So here's my recipe for a velvety-smooth pasta sauce made with nothing but broccoli and walnuts, but which somehow tastes like it has a whole tub of double cream in it.
I've used it here in a simple pasta supper - pasta "alla Genovese", a traditional Italian dish with sliced potatoes and green beans cooked with the pasta, then stirred through with pesto. I know - potatoes and pasta sounds like a total carb-overload, but trust me, this is delicious, and the potatoes add even more velvety texture.
Broccoli & Walnut Pesto (and Pasta alla Genovese)
For the pesto
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 75 g walnut pieces
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the Pasta alla Genovese
- 500 g pasta
- 1 large floury potato, peeled and sliced fairly thinly
- 200 g fine green beans
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then add the broccoli florets and cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in your blender.
- Leaving the water in the saucepan, add the pasta and potato slices and bring back to the boil. Cook for 8 minutes, then add the green beans and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through. (The potato slices will break up whilst cooking - don't panic - they are supposed to!).
- Meanwhile, add the walnuts, garlic, lemon and olive oil to the blender with the broccoli and blitz to a smooth paste. Season generously with salt and pepper, then add a little water, blitz again, and continue adding more water until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.
- Drain the pasta, potatoes and beans, then return to the pan and stir through the broccoli pesto. Return to the hob on a gentle heat and stir until the pesto is warmed through.
- Serve immediately!
I must admit that I thought cleaning my new blender was going to be a chore, but here's an easy-peasy tip to clean it in seconds, (in fact, it almost cleans itself): give it a quick rinse out, then add a couple of drops of washing up liquid with some hot water. Whizz, then rinse with cold water, and voila - a squeaky-clean blender in about 10 seconds.
A power blender like this is a long-term investment - if you've been considering a Vitamix but can't bring yourself to part with £600, good news - the Optimum 9200A is currently on sale at £329, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you have a whole month to fall in love with it or send it back. Take a look at this comparison of vital statistics for some of the brand leaders.
And finally - here's a neat little video to show you some cool and crazy things you can do with a Froothie blender:
For more vegan pesto recipes why not take a look at:
- My Tagliatelle with Avocado and Spinach Pesto
- Sus' Hemp Seed Pesto from Rough Measures
- Helen's Chilli & Coriander Pesto from Casa Costello
- Penelope's Dairy Free Broccoli Pesto from Penelope's Pantry
- Lucy's Red Pepper & Chard Pesto from BakingQueen74
- Nadia's Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto from Nadia's Healthy Kitchen
- Ceri's Oregano Pesto and Kale & Almond Pesto from Natural Kitchen Adventures
Disclosure: I am a Froothie Ambassador and received a blender to review from Froothie. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links - I will earn a commission on any Froothie products ordered via links from this blog.