Spinach Pesto Pasta

What better friend has a cook in a hurry than a no-cook pasta sauce that takes less time to prepare than it takes to boil the pasta? And unlike canned sauces, this warm and earthy pesto gives you all the rich vitamins and minerals of fresh uncooked spinach. I could have used a healthier and less processed pasta for this dish, but rotini was on hand and global warming appears to have gone on a hiatus, so I opted for ease and convenience instead.

I'm sending this quick and easy pasta dish to Haalo, who is hosting Presto Pasta Night this week. This popular and ongoing event is the brainchild of Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.
Spinach Pesto Pasta

8 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 dried hot red chilies
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper


Process the spinach, pine nuts, garlic and dried chilies in a food processor until well chopped. Drizzle the olive oil over top and process for another half minute until blended. Stir in the parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Mix in with hot cooked pasta and serve with a little extra fresh grated parmesan and fresh ground black pepper sprinkled over.

Makes about 3 cups, or enough for one pound of dried pasta.
Other pasta dishes to tempt the palate:
Penne with Indian-Style Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms
Penne with Fennel, Tomato and Blue Cheese
Tuscan Bean and Pasta Soup with Rosemary

16 comments:

Haalo said...

Such a gorgeous, vibrant colour - Delicious!

Ruth Daniels said...

What a fantastic dish to brighten up our cold and dreary winter. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love pesto, but never thought of using spinach - will have to give this a go :)

Soma said...

OOOOO what lovely colors! & what a healthy idea to use spinach for pesto.

Vegetarian said...

Such nice colors. It seems to be very tasty also!

Bellini Valli said...

This is definitely a standard around my place. I bought a large bag of basil from the grocers the other week and taking their advice didn't put it in the fridge. It has now been two weeks and it is still alive and green in its zip lock bag on the counter.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, that looks so good Lisa! I love the beautiful green color!

karuna said...

just the other day i had this craving of having pesto...and we went to a nice ittalian place to have pesto pasta. urs looks yummy. will try this for my next pesto craving.......

Beatrice said...

I used to blend spinach in with a packaged pesto mix - this sounds healthier and fresher tasting.

Cynthia said...

Your spinach looks to creamy and good. I bought some today.

Holler said...

What a great twiat on pesto Lisa. So fresh and delicious. I like the additiom of balsamic to the pesto.

a vegan about town said...

What a fantastic idea!

eatme_delicious said...

Yum this looks awesome! I love all versions of pesto.

Hillary said...

I absolutely love your pasta dish! It sounds easy to make and absolutely delicious. I don't have a food processor though, must get one!

Kevin said...

A classic! It looks great!

buericana said...

We just tried this tonight and it was really delish. The peppers give it great flavor. I also love that it uses spinach