Don't let the colour scare you - this tasty dish will be a crowd pleaser
PREPARATION: 15 MIN
COOKING TIME: 10 MINS
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)
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.
- You can add some diced chicken or bacon for added protein
- Sun dried tomatoes on top will add some more flavour and nutrients