Pesto is one of my favorite things. It’s good as a sandwich spread, as a dip for grilled veggies but best of all it’s great tossed with hot pasta. This version is a take on Michelle’s recipe which I absolutely love. What is the most awesome about this recipe is that it’s cheaper than making classic pesto and is sooo much better than buying it pre-packaged! Michelle also likes to make it lower in calories by subbing some of the oil for veggie stock. I also am curious what it would be like substituting the parmesan for nutritional yeast (nutch), let me know if you try it out.
- 2 cup baby spinach, washed and dried
- 1 cup of fresh basil leaves washed, trimmed and dried
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves washed, trimmed and dried
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (rennet and lipase free) or nutritional yeast
- 2/3 cup raw unsalted walnuts
- 1/3-2/3 olive oil (can use veggie broth to cut the fat, I like all the oil)
- 3 garlic cloves
- sea salt and fresh black pepper
- a box of a hardy pasta, ones that are tubes or have grooves suit pesto the best
A word to the wise Michelle uses a hand powered food processor, which gives this pesto a wonderful chunky and inconsistent texture. I used a food processor but realizing early on it would not give me the same texture I left out a handful of the spinach and herb mix as well as some of the walnuts and roughly chopped them, adding them to the mix right before I tossed with hot pasta.
That being said the preparation is pretty easy, wash all the greens and pat dry, save a handfull to put aside if you are using a mechanical food processor.
Using the food processor grate the garlic and cheese, add the greens, nuts, and oil, and blend until you like the consistency.
If you are like me and like it a little chunky, remove and add hand chopped remaining greens and nuts, mixing in a large bowl adding salt and pepper to taste.
While that sits boil the pasta in salty water, drain (but don’t run water over it) and toss with sauce, serve hot. YUM!YUM! Enjoy!