Pesto is a delightful way to dress pasta that’s a little different than your typical red or white pasta sauce. It usually just requires a lot of fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil. This is one that mixes that up a little bit. The spinach is mild enough, but the basil adds the classic “pesto” flavor. Not only that, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. This is also one of my favorite types of recipes – quick and easy to put together – just stick everything in a food processor. If your pasta is ready too soon, just rinse in cold water (helps to minimize the sticking) and then leave it drained. When you’re ready to serve, just reheat the pasta by running under hot water. If you’ve got extra of the pesto, it should keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. The tomatoes add a beautiful pop of red to the dish and the flavor complements the pesto perfectly.
- 1/2 lb egg noodles
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lb baby spinach
- 1 C basil leaves
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1/4 C Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/4 tsp salt plus more to taste, if desired
- 1/4 tsp pepper plus more to taste, if desired
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 C cherry or grape tomatoes sliced
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Combine the garlic, spinach, basil, olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Puree the mixture until smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is well combined.
Reheat the pasta by running under hot water (if necessary).
Toss the pasta with the pesto and tomatoes. Serve hot.
Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is about 1 1/2 cups
Each serving = 7 Smart Points/10 Points
PER SERVING: 382 calories; 18g fat; 3g saturated fat; 45g carbohydrates; 2g sugar; 12g protein; 4g fiber