Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spinach Pesto

Are there any foods whose smell alone you find irresistible? Whose scent makes you happy before you even take a bite?

My top five food scents
1. Basil
2. Oatmeal cookies baking
3. Garlic cooking in olive oil
4. The interior of a pumpkin when you cut into it
5. Tomatoes fresh from the garden

I know I'm not alone in loving the scent of basil.  That's probably why I make pesto so often during the summer, when fresh basil is abundant.  

For the winter months when it's harder to come by, this alternative helps me miss it a little less.

Spaghetti with Spinach Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes
1 lb. spaghetti
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
4 oz. baby spinach
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Boil spaghetti according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, puree the spinach, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes in the food processor. During the last two minutes of cooking, add the cherry tomatoes to the pasta. Drain the pasta and tomatoes, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Gently toss the pasta and tomatoes with the pesto, adding cooking water as needed to help the pesto stick to the pasta and prevent it from being too dry.

Look at that lovely emerald green color.

Quickly boiling the tomatoes helps them become tender and juicy, so they burst when you bite into them.

Jackson loves this one. 


  1. I make pesto about every other week or so--for most of the year. Whenever I have any herbs or greens that are starting to go, I throw them in the food processor with cashews (cheaper then pine nuts), nooch, olive oil, salt, and lemon. Easy peasy and it helps me not waste food. I just freeze 1 cup batches in old Tofutti containers.

  2. I just made this tonight! Delicious! I posted about it too if you'd like to see. Thanks for the great meal.