I first discovered my love of pesto the summer after second year when I lived with Natalie (yes, this is a blog plug – she just started a new site, visit!).
Natalie is allergic to tomatoes (didn’t click her blog? Do it now because you feel bad that she can’t eat ketchup! KETCHUP, guys!), meaning that she eats a hell of a lot of this basil-pine nut-olive oil deliciousness. And, in proper roommate brainwashing form, she made me obsessed with it. I make pita pizzas with pesto and cheddar cheese on a regular basis.
But enough with my love of normal pesto. I thought I would mix up the Hilary-pesto relationship a bit. We’ve been together a long time. Now we’re experimenting.
SPINACH + WALNUTS (+ a decent sprinkling of kosher salt at the end)
I was flip-flopping with dinner plans yesterday. I knew I wanted spaghetti, and also knew that I was too cheap and resembled too much of a bedroom hobo to venture to the grocery store to get any sort of appropriate pasta toppings. Then, as often happens when one is forced into a situation where it seems like there is no way out, something brilliant happened.
I discovered that spinach pesto was a thing. I always have spinach. Mostly because I never make salads ever. It’s a problem. I also happen to have an inordinate amount of nuts lying around. The recipe just presented itself.
One Magic Bullet party later and voila! A new and healthy dinner creation. I packed the pesto-coated spaghetti into my medium-sized food ring and made a cute little carb cube. This was really good, inexpensive, and used up half my walnuts and spinach. Guess what I’m making again tomorrow?
PS: anything with lemon zest or lemon flavouring will always, always taste like birthday cake batter to me. I blame you, Dorie Greenspan. You and your perfect party cake recipe.
Operation Clear Cupboard: walnuts, one bottle of olive oil
Recipe: Spaghetti with spinach walnut pesto
- 240 grams white or whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
Adapted from Inspired Taste [dot] net
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Lemon zest, for garnish
In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the spaghetti until tender. Once it’s cooked, drain and melt the butter throughout.
Meanwhile, toast the walnuts on medium heat on a small skillet.
Put the cloves of garlic and freshly toasted walnuts into your Magic Bullet cup or other food processing machine. Blend-blend-blend quickly.
Add the spinach and olive oil. Blend some more, stopping and scraping down the sides of the cup, if necessary. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, black pepper and kosher salt (to taste).
Combine the pesto and the spaghetti well and serve immediately, with more pepper and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest, if you want.
Makes two servings.