A leftovers delight - so satisfying to use up odds and ends and leftovers in the fridge.
Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 12 mins Total Time 32 mins
Servings: 2
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Sometimes I challenge myself to not go to the shops until I have used up everything in my fridge. Over the next few days, I create meals from whatever is in my fridge and store cupboard. 

This was one of those meals. Leftover herbs, odds and ends of pine nuts and walnuts, the last of a parmesan block, a few sundried tomatoes in oil, two or three olives and the remains of a weekend roast chicken.

If you have spinach or rocket leaves wilting in your fridge, add these into the pesto or stir it into the pasta at the end for another layer of flavour.   

Mushrooms are a great addition instead of chicken.

Have half a pack of pancetta hanging about? Use it! The chicken/pancetta  is optional if you want to keep it vegan. 

Don't worry about exact quantities, the idea is to use up what you have. use your eyes and taste the food, to get it right for your taste buds.  

Options: The leftover pesto can be used up in an orzo salad or spread it on toast, add sweet tomatoes on top dress with a little salt, pepper olive oil - heaven! 

You could freeze it for another day. Stir in a bit more olive oil and warm water to loosen it before you use it again. 

Soo satisfying to clear out the fridge! 



  1. Put everything in your food processor and pulse till you have the consistency you want. Remember this will be going in a pan later with oil and onions so if it is a little thick, that's okay. How smooth you like it is your preference. I like mine with a little bite, especially with pasta. Taste for salt and add more if you prefer it. 

    Set the water to boil for the pasta. I've used linguine but you can use any in your larder. 


  1. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a pan, add the onions and saute them till translucent. Add the pancetta if using, and saute for a minute or two. You don't want it crisp for this recipe. 

    Add the mushrooms if using now and sautee. 

    Add one heaped tablespoon of pesto per person, loosen it with a little water from the pasta

    Add the chicken, and mix well. 

    Drain the pasta once its cooked, reserving a little water. 

    Mix in the pasta, coating it all with pesto. 

    Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of parmesan and a grind of black pepper.



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