A fabulous Spinach Pesto makes this Vegetarian Pasta meal quick and easy to put together. The perfect #onepotmeal.
I love pesto, but don’t make it very often because basil leaves are so tender and go bad so quickly. Often times I want to make pesto and buy a bunch of basil, but sometimes my schedule gets busy and then within a day or two, the leaves are starting to turn black. Spinach is much stronger and can stay in the refrigerator for several days before I get around to making the pesto.
Since I love pesto so much, I always buy a big bunch of spinach whenever I go grocery shopping. First of all, I love spinach and use it in so many different ways – everything from rice to smoothies, but I love to make Spinach Pesto.
Although basil pesto is the classic Italian version, modern pesto’s can be made from a variety of green herbs and vegetables like spinach, cilantro, parsley, kale and beet greens. Here is my version of Spinach Pesto and how to incorporate it into a quick and easy Vegetarian pasta dinner. In addition to pasta, pesto is such a versatile condiment. The store bought versions are usually more dry, but in this wetter version that I make, you can use it as salad dressing, pizza base (instead of Marinara) and a dip with fried foods like this Fried Ravioli or Italian Chickpea Fritters.
IN THE MAKING
Spinach Pesto Pasta
- Pesto Ingredients:
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head garlic peeled
- 4 cups spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup shelled pistacchios
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pasta Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1 sprig oregano leaves
- 15.5 oz. can chickpeas
- 3 cups cooked bowtie pasta
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- To make the pesto, combine garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in an oven safe dish.
- Roast for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Combine roasted garlic with spinach, pistacchios, red pepper and salt in a food processor. Blend to chop.
- While the processor is running, slowly add the remaining olive oil until well blended.
- To make the pasta, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add tomato and oregano. Saute for about 5 minutes, until tomatoes are softened.
- Add 2/3 cup of the pesto and fry for a few minutes.
- Add chickpeas and cooked pasta. Toss to combine.
- Adjust salt and pepper, as necessary.
- Add cheese and toss to combine.
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