Penne with Spinach Pesto
Thursday, February 04, 2016
I'd just like to disclaim, I'm in no way advising you nutritionally. (I am actually taking a nutrition course, so soon enough will need to take a little responsibility and bestow my knowledge upon you) but for now, I can only advise you on eating well, not eating well, and for now, I'll bestow on you this delicious and healthy-green-stuff-filled pesto recipe for you to douse your pasta of choice with.
Needless to say, it's quick, easy and delicious (obviously) and is probably a pretty good way of tricking a kid into eating a whole bunch of spinach!
YOU WILL NEED:
1 PACK FRESH, WASHED SPINACH (250G)
60G (ABOUT A 3 INCH PIECE) PARMESAN
1/2 CUP PINE NUTS
3 TBSP LEMON JUICE
1 HANDFUL FRESH BASIL LEAVES
SALT AND PEPPER
3 CLOVES GARLIC
2 TBSP OLIVE OIL
1 CUP HOT WATER
CHILI FLAKES (optional)
Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan, until fragrant and golden. Add them to a food processor and reserve a tablespoon of them for garnishing later.
Peel and and smash the garlic cloves so that they're still whole but are slightly open.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic cloves. Leave on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is golden and softened, but not brown or burnt.
In the food processor, grind the toasted pine nuts and cooked garlic cloves (keep the olive oil aside) until it starts to release oils and will look a little like a nut butter. You may need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides once or twice.
Add the spinach, basil leaves and half of the hot water (you can also use the water you used for cooking the pasta) and blend until it's a smooth consistency adding more water if needed.
Add the parmesan and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
Season with a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper.
Taste and add a little more lemon juice, parmesan, basil, salt or pepper if you feel it needs it.
Pour half of the olive oil from the sautéed garlic and blend once more.
Transfer the pesto to another bowl and mix in the last bit of garlicky olive oil and a pinch of chill flakes for a little spice.
Use immediately with your choice of pasta or refrigerate and use before 4 days.
To serve, toss the pasta with lots of the pesto, top with the remaining reserved toasted pine nuts, a few basil leaves, some salt, pepper and chill flakes (and a sprinkle of parmesan if desired).