Satisfy your pregnancy appetite with Nigel Slater's healthy and delicious pasta with watercress and fresh hand-made pesto

The ideal pregnancy diet for keeping you and your baby healthy changes over the course of pregnancy, so we’re sharing delicious recipes for pregnant women from Nigel Slater, you can be sure to get a nutrition boost for you both.

There are certain vitamins and minerals that you should always look for, and others that are best avoided during pregnancy, and these recipes from Nigel Slater provide a lot of the important nutrients. Things that play an important role when you’re pregnant are folate (folic acid), iron, calcium, omega-­3 fats and fibre.

Foods to avoid include soft, raw or unpasteurised cheeses like Brie, Camembert, feta or goat’s cheese; high-mercury fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish; and alcohol. Including these two delicious and healthy pregnancy recipes from Nigel Slater into your weekly diet will make eating the rights foods simple.

Chinese Chicken and Chutney Sandwich

Fried in five-spice powder and served with chutney and lettuce, this is a light, simple way to enjoy a healthy piece of chicken breast.


  • 1 cooked chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 iceberg lettuce leaf
  • 2 tsp chutney


  1. Tear the chicken breast into a pan with the groundnut oil and fry with the five-spice powder for five minutes.
  2. Take the lettuce leaf and fill with the chicken. Spoon over the chutney and wrap the lettuce around to contain the filling.

Pasta with Watercress and Hand-Made Pesto

Nigel Slater’s peppery basil and watercress pesto is a fresh take on an old Italian classic.


  • 300-400g/10½-14oz dried pasta (enough for 4)
  • a handful pine kernels, plus extra to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • sea salt, to taste
  • a good handful fresh basil leaves
  • a bunch watercress leaves
  • a handful grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls rocket leaves


  1. Put the pasta on to cook in a pan of deep, heavily salted, boiling water.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan – keep a close eye on them and keep moving them around the pan until they are a pale golden-brown.
  3. Peel the garlic and crush it with a large pinch of sea salt using a pestle and mortar. Add the basil leaves and continue crushing with the pestle.
  4. Strip the watercress leaves from their stems and add to the basil, continuing to crush until you have a bright green purée.
  5. Add the toasted pine kernels, crush, and add the grated parmesan. Slowly mix in enough olive oil to give a good thick sauce.
  6. When the pasta is cooked (about 9 minutes depending on the variety), drain lightly and tip back into the empty pan. Add the pesto and the rocket leaves, then toss gently to mix. Serve with extra parmesan and toasted pine kernels if you wish.