I’m pretty sure you already know that basil is not the only main ingredient that can be used to make pesto. In my blog, I have recipes for pesto with kale (kale sage pesto), fennel (fennel frond pesto), broccoli (broccoli pesto) and fresh peas (spring pea pesto) to name a few. I even have another recipe for spinach pesto that is an alternative to this dish. Pesto’s are a wonderfully fresh tasting and light sauce that will delightfully adorn any pasta or vegetable and can also be used as a sandwich spread. I happen to love all types of pesto!
I am also a fan of garlic, however, I’m not one that wants it to permeate my entire being. I love the taste to be flavorful, yet subtle so I tend to use a little less than most. However, if you want to heat up your tastebuds with oodles of fresh garlic, then by all means – add more!
The other great thing about using pesto as a sauce with pasta is that it stands on it’s own perfectly well. No need for additional add in’s as the flavor is robust all on its own. If you’re looking to create more of a complete entree, feel free to add in some grilled shrimp, chicken or beef along with your favorite veggies. It also pairs really well with almost any item. The sky’s the limit on the options that will work, so use your imagination to create your own masterpiece!
Note: When storing pesto of any kind, it is suggested that you cover it with plastic wrap pressed directly on top of the pesto to keep it remaining fresh and bright.
- 1 lb. brown rice spaghetti, cooked al dente
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 8 oz. spinach, trimmed and rinsed
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings for garnish
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have a colander and cold water bath ready. Drop the spinach into the boiling water. Swirl the spinach around for a bit until it is wilted and then drain in the colander and add to the cold water bath. Once cooled, drain the spinach again an place on a clean dishtowel to squeeze out the moisture. Chop.
- Place the toasted nuts, Parmesan cheese, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper into a blender and puree until uniformly smooth. Add more olive oil as needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Serve the pesto tossed with the spaghetti and top with additional Parmesan cheese.
- When storing the pesto in the refrigerator, store in a container with a piece of place plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the pesto. It will stay fresh up to 3 days.
- To freeze, place desired portions in small containers with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the pesto or place in freezer bags and store up to 2 months.
(click here) for printable recipe