Posts Tagged ‘spinach pesto’


I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t love a bowl of pasta. I think the vast majority of us are engineered to love the stuff. In fact, I’m willing to bet that even those who have shunned all pasta, including gluten-free versions, still have fond memories of big bowls of the oh-so comforting food.

I’ve never been a big pasta eater since somehow I’ve always known deep down that it’s not the healthiest option. Or maybe it’s just that my Japanese mother cooked primarily with rice, and I just didn’t get a lot of face time (mouth time) with pasta until I recognized it for what it is. Let’s be honest, it’s a “carrier” food. At least that’s what I tell my kids. There’s nothing redeeming about the pasta itself, but it serves as an excellent carrier for all sorts of sauces. They get that, and that’s why they happily gobble up my spinach walnut pesto pasta.

This dish gives you all the flavor of pesto sauce, but with the added nutritional benefits of spinach and walnuts, and you get to enjoy pasta on top of it. It’s become one of our Meatless Monday favorites. I usually use a gluten-free capellini pasta made from organic brown rice, but rotini pasta holds the sauce really well, and that particular pasta shape is a favorite with most kids. I’m sure it’s not the same as traditional semolina noodles, but we’re so accustomed to it, that we don’t miss the old stuff.



2 large handfuls baby spinach

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (stems removed)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, extra if needed

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Squeeze fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (or parm-reggiano blend)

Sea salt to taste

Fresh-ground pepper



Put the first six ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Note: The mixture typically isn’t liquid enough to blend down completely on its own, so I use the plunger tool for my Vitamix to make sure everything gets down into where the blades are spinning. You can add a bit more olive oil if necessary.

Spoon out into a medium bowl. Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper and adjust to taste.

Cook pasta noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain. Top with sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.






Read Full Post »

Selma's Table

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful - stories and recipes from a wonderful life...

Dinner of Herbs

Love for healthier foods.

Peri's Spice Ladle

Indian-inspired Food for the Global Palate

Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties...

%d bloggers like this: