Pasta with spinach pesto sauce. An alternative to my favorite basil pesto sauce that will fascinate you with its freshness and delicious taste.
The reason behind this recipe was none other than my grandma Mimi. My grandma who, together with my grandfather, lives in the village in the hot months, while in the winter they return to Thessaloniki. In the village, of course, my grandmother’s happy place is her garden.
A small vegetable garden, with neat and well-cared rows, and beautiful veggie production. Despite her age, my grandmother takes care of the garden on her own and everything she does, she always does it in a very, very neat and well-cared way.
So was the package I received from her. A package full of fresh carefully washed and cleaned vegetables. Fresh onions, vivid lettuce, and the most tender spinach.
So as I saw them neatly and tenderly I could not imagine that I would destroy this freshness. So I thought I’d make a spinach pesto. This was the best decision because it was very, very tasty.
Spinach pesto recipe notes
- For the spinach, pesto use tender spinach leaves.
- You can add nuts instead of pine nuts.
- I think the roasted pine nuts have a more strong taste and enhance umami. If you want you can skip the roasting them.
- I made the pesto with a pestle, but for half the amount as the mortar is small. I preferred the traditional method as I believe that the metallic elements of a blender somehow “abuse” the tender spinach. At the same time, using the blender warms the pesto a little, and therefore slightly affects the flavor. So, if you have patience then I highly recommend using a mortar and a pestle.
- We can store spinach pesto in a jar in the refrigerator. The pesto should be covered with a little olive oil in order to protect it.
- In this recipe, I use fleur de sel instead of the classic salt. And that’s because in pesto I like to feel the salt as it ignites in my mouth.
Pasta with spinach pesto sauce
- 500 gr spaghetti
- 50 gr roasted pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups baby spinach, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
- 150 ml olive oil
- 100 gr freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- fleur de sel
- In a large saucepan add about 5 liters of water and bring to a boil. Once the water has boiled, add 2 tbsp salt and after 1 minute the pasta. Boil until the pasta becomes al dente.
- In a small pan, over medium to high heat, roast the pine nuts for about 5 minutes.
- In a mortar add the roasted pine nuts and garlic cloves. Using a pestle, mash them until there are no large chunks.
- Finely chop the basil and spinach with a sharp knife. Add the vegetables, a little at a time, to the mortar, and continue mashing. Gradually add the olive oil, as needed, continuining to blend into a paste.
- Once the sauce is smooth stir in the parmesan and any remaining olive oil. Season with salt.
- If the pesto is too thick, add 2-3 tbsp from the water that boiled the pasta.
- In an serving plate add the sauce and the pasta on top. This will make it easier to mix.
- Serve with extra grated parmesan and fresh basil.
My grandmother’s tenderness and love helped me create one of my favorite recipes, pasta with spinach pesto sauce. A quick recipe, full of colors and vivid aromas. As long as you have the right spinach in your hands.
If you want to see more pasta recipes like this one you can click here.