Pesto Pasta and Spinach
Last night I had a fabulous idea for a recipe conversion: twice baked potatoes! I was tired of the same soup I'd had for lunch two days in a row, and I seemed to have flawless ideas of how to make cheesy, creamy twice baked potatoes, and then I added wayyyy to much liquid and made potato soup. Oh well! Perhaps it was the universe telling me that potatoes weren't on the agenda. What did end up on the agenda was simple, fresh, and turned out much better than that concoction I made last night.
Orecchiette pasta and fresh spinach tossed with sun-dried pesto.
Don't get jealous, but the pasta I used was purchased in Italy last summer when I went with my mom to take cooking classes.
To start out, I wanted to make some pesto and I knew it wasn't going to be low cal. I can make low-cal pesto but I just didn't have the heart. So I decided to be a little indulgent.
Since I don't add parmesan cheese I decided to add some sun-dried tomatoes. Something I became addicted to last summer.
Throw that all in a blender with a little water to thin it out and voila! pesto
I can't speak any Italian (that one semester I took in college has left me with one word ospedale, hospital, and damn is it fun to say) so reading the packaging was a no go. But luckily about 12 minutes and a couple sample pieces later it was perfect.
In order to wilt the spinach a little without it becoming mush, I tossed the spinach with the noodles immediately after I drained them and put the pot on the off, but still warm, burner. My inner skinny kid said, "don't use all the pesto" and then my inner inner chubby kid said, "shut up and use all the pesto." So I used all the pesto. As a side note, I added a squeeze of one half of a small lemon and it really rang though. I still can't quite tell if I like it or not so you'll have to let me know how you like it if you make this dish.
Ingredients for pesto:
- 4 halfs sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1Tbs minced garlic
- 2 Tbs pine nuts
- 2 Tbs water to thin during blending
- 1 bag fresh baby spinach (4 cups)
- 188 g orecchiette pasta
* I am so sorry that's such a random amount; it's what was left in the bag. It was about a 1 1/3 cup
Nutrition facts: Recipe makes 3 servings; 1 serving is a 1 1/2 cups; Calories 419 g; Fat 21.8 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 10.9 g; Carbohydrates 53.4 g
This will be delicious as a cold salad in the summer, or nice as a warmed up salad in the winter. It's is a dog with more than one trick. You can also make the pesto and use it as a sandwich spread or in other recipes. The nutrition facts for that are below.
Nutrition facts just for pesto: Serving size 1 Tbs; 59 Calories, Fat 6.2 g; Fiber 0.3 g; Protein 0.6 g; Carbohydrates 0.8 g