Spaghetti al pesto, a refreshing trio of healthy pesto blended with basil, spinach, lemon, garlic, and pine nuts, teamed up with blanched tomatoes.
- 8 oz. (227 gm.) dry spaghetti or other pasta of your choice
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, rinsed
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 3 cups basil leaves and tender stems
- 3 cups spinach leaves
- 3 of cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into quarters
- 3-4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp. salt
- In a large pot, start the water for the pasta.
- Heat a small or medium-heavy skillet or pan with a heavy bottom to medium-high. Add the ¼ cup of pine nuts and toast them. Stir them often until they start to brown (about 1 ½ - 2 minutes).
- Remove them from the heat and add them to a food processor or blender.
- Add the basil, spinach, garlic, 3 of tablespoons of lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon of salt (if using) to the food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice to taste.
- Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. When the pasta is 2 minutes from being done, add the cherry tomatoes. Cook until the pasta is tender but firm.
- Before draining the pasta, dip a cup in and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Now, drain, but do not rinse, the pasta and tomatoes and add it to a serving dish or bowl.
- Mix in the pesto. Then mix in 2 Tbsp. of the pasta water. If the pasta is a bit dry, add more cooking water.
- Serve warm.
- Garnish with lemon wedges, torn or chopped basil, or Parmesan.
- Pay attention to the pine nuts when toasting. The minute they start to brown, remove them from the heat. They burn easily.
- You should end up with about 1 ½ cups of pesto. The actual amount depends on the exact amounts of basil and spinach and the amount of lemon juice you use.
- The standard guideline is 2 ounces (56 gm.) of dry spaghetti per person per serving. That's approximately the diameter of a quarter. Alternatively, use the hole in your pasta spoon as a guide.
- The starch from the pasta helps the pesto adhere to it. For this reason, you want to use cooking water rather than tap water to moisten the pasta.
- Category: Main courses
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: spaghetti al pesto