Sunday, January 9, 2011

Parsley + Spinach + Walnut Pesto

I know, I know...pesto pasta is so tired. The classic basil and pine nut version is, but this is different -- I swear. The parsley, which is cheap and easy to come by, reminds me of cut grass in the summertime, and the walnuts add such a great richness. The spinach, which gives some heft to the pesto, also adds an earthy note to the dish. The proof is in the flavor, and you'll just have to try it to fully believe what I'm telling you. (Make this dish vegan by leaving off the delicious crumbled goat feta.)

Parsley + Spinach + Walnut Pesto

1/2 pound dried penne pata
1 cup blanched spinach (about 4 cups fresh)
2 cups fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
juice from 1 lemon
1 cup walnuts (toasted)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup pasta water

Cook pasta in plenty of salted water. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water for a later use. Place spinach, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, walnuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper into the food processor. Pulse until everything is incorporated into a bright green paste. Once the pasta is cooked, drain water off and add the pesto to the pasta. Add enough reserved pasta water (about a cup) to the mixture to create a sauce.

3 roma tomatoes (peeled, diced)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
pinch of sugar
4 basil leaves (minced)
black pepper
2 ounces goat feta (optional)

Combine all ingredients -- save for the feta -- and allow it to marinate for a few minutes. Top portions of pesto pasta with tomatoes and crumbled goat feta.


Lauren said...

My mother makes this delicious pesto with half the basil, adding peas and garlic and I think she also uses walnuts. It's kind of amazing.

Ameya said...

First time on your blog-I love it!! Extremely creative recipes you come up with, very inspiring!! Keep it up!

Another Knitter said...

This sounds absolutely lovely! Will have to go out soon to get all the ingredients.

Liz said...

I tried this the other night and OMG it was amazing....another recipe to add to my 'make often'...thanks

. said...

This looks so yummy!