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Spinach and almond pesto pasta

Don't let the colour scare you - this tasty dish will be a crowd pleaser





PREPARATION: 15 MIN

COOKING TIME: 10 MINS

SERVES:6


Ingredients

  • 120g baby spinach leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds, toasted, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup (120g) fresh low-fat ricotta, crumbled

  • 1/3 cup (25g) freshly grated parmesan

  • 400g penne rigate (or other short pasta)


Method


Step 1- Blanch spinach in a large pan of lightly salted, simmering water for 10 seconds until wilted. Drain and immediately refresh under cold water. Drain again.


Step 2- Squeeze as much liquid from the spinach as possible, then roughly chop. Place in a food processor with the garlic, almonds, oil, ricotta and 2 tablespoons parmesan, season, then blend until smooth and a vibrant green colour.


Step 3- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (60ml) cooking water. Return pasta to pan with the pesto and reserved water. Stir over low heat for 30 seconds until combined and warmed through.


Tips

- You can add some diced chicken or bacon for added protein

- Sun dried tomatoes on top will add some more flavour and nutrients

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