Here is a lovely twist on beloved pesto for spring. Baby spinach takes the place of most of the basil to give the sauce an earthy flavor. The thick, emerald sauce beautifully coats the flat noodles and serves up big flavor in every forkful.
4 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons organic vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided (about 1/4 cup)
8 ounces uncooked linguine
How to Make It
Place spinach in a microwave-safe bowl; cover bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove plastic wrap; cool slightly.
Place spinach, almonds, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor. Process until chopped. Add broth, juice, and salt; pulse 5 times. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute; process until well blended. Scrape into a bowl; stir in half of cheese. Cover with plastic wrap.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Toss pasta with 1/2 cup pesto. Arrange about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture in each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 2 tablespoons remaining pesto and 1 1/2 teaspoons remaining cheese.
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I used dried spices (except for the basil, of course) and I used walnuts instead of almonds. I know the calorie count probably went up, but I was okay with that if it meant that I didnt have to go to the grocery store. The pesto is amazing, seriously.
Very easy recipe to make and the pesto is absolutely delightful! I left out the fresh thyme (didn't miss it), added extra garlic (for personal tastes) and added quartered grape tomatoes to the pasta water for the last 5 minutes of boil time to give it a little color / additional veggies. Overall, I would definitely make this one again, but I did think the pesto was a bit dry, so I would recommend leaving some pasta water in the pot after draining to help lighten the sauce and get a nice even coat on the noodles. Also, I tried to go a bit healthier and used whole wheat pasta in this one - disaster; the wheat flavor overwhelms the pesto (even with the strong herbs & garlic), so definitely don't try this one with whole wheat pasta. Served with some simple seasoned and grilled chicken; very filling and great portion sizes. A keeper; enjoy!
This went together quickly and was very flavorful. Had to sub chicken broth for the veggie broth as that is what I had on hand. I would cut back or omit the oregano next time, it seemed to over power the dish. I used fresh pasta and the whole thing went together in like 15 minutes, maybe less! It would be good to add some fresh sauted veggies as there was a good deal of pesto for the amount of pasta.
Absolutely fantastic! I love pesto but find the original version to be too overpoweringly basil. This remedies that and creates a dish the entire family can enjoy. The almond blends deliciously with the basil and spinach. It was a glorious meal. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines: http://bit.ly/143uRPO
This sauce was delicious!! Definitely earthy and rich as the description states. I doubled the recipe, afraid I wouldn't have enough sauce and let me tell you.....a little goes a LONG way with this sauce!! I also used a small food processor so it was kind of messy.
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