Healthier Pesto

>> Saturday, March 20, 2010

After returning from vacation, my pants were feeling a little tight and I decided to try and make some healthier meals. The first one I made was this healthier pesto and I was really surprised at how good it was. I really couldnt tell a difference from traditional pesto! An added plus was that it reheated well so I was able to have the left-overs for lunch the next day.

Healthier Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, tightly packed
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 T pine nuts, toasted
2 T parmesan, grated
2 T olive oil
3 T pasta cooking water
salt & pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor combine basil, spinach, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan. Pulse a time or two to finely mince ingredients. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Pulse until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Boil water and cook your pasta according to the package's directions. When pasta is al dente, reserve 3-4 T pasta water before draining the pasta. Slowly add pasta water to pesto, one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Spoon onto pasta and serve!

On a side note, you can always add in some other ingredients to make it even tastier. I added halved grape tomatoes and cubed fresh mozzarella. Other ideas are sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, grilled chicken...


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