Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins
OK, the name's silly, but this version of pesto is really good! The recipe makes enough to generously sauce 1 lb of your favourite pasta. Developed for RSC #6. (edited to add that this recipe eventually won Ready, Set, Cook! #6. I am so proud of this creation and all the favourable reviews it has received - thanks to all who have tried it.)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 cup firmly packed spinach leaves, stems discarded, washed well and spun dry
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaf
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup very dry white wine
- 1⁄2 cup cashews, toasted lightly and cooled or 1⁄2 cup pine nuts
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 1 lb linguine (or your favourite pasta) or 1 lb tagliatelle pasta noodles (or your favourite pasta)
- Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with salt and peppercorns.
- In a processor or blender, puree spinach with basil, oil, wine, cashews, Parmesan, lemon zest and garlic paste.
- The pesto keeps, covered with a thin film of olive oil and chilled, up to 2 weeks.
- This makes enough for 1 lb of pasta.
DH is a meat and potato kinda guy... but he loved this! I used it over chicken breast and cheese tortellini with sun-dried tomato french bread. Fanstastic - thanks for posting! Update 12/07: I love the 'skinny' version of this Pesto Sauce: I use a high quality white wine, double the amount called for and toss in some lemon juice in place of the full zest - then reduce the olive oil by about half. I also use reduced fat parmesan cheese. Fantastic! I've also noticed that (oddly enough) I preferthe cashews over pine nuts in this recipe.
I enjoyed this pesto, especially the addition of fresh spinach to it, which I've never done. The only issue I had was that I found three garlic cloves to be WAY too strong for me, and I love garlic. Obviously, its "zesto" pesto, so I should have anticipated that, but I found that I had to cut the overly intense garlic with some more nuts and oil. I do have to say that the flavor mellowed after two days in the fridge. As far as pesto recipes go, this one is a keeper!!
This pesto tastes light and is so refreshing! I used a little less olive oil (just added the oil until it came to the right consistency.) I served it with linguine and the family actually favored this dish more after the pasta had cooled, kind of like a pasta salad. Next time, I'll serve the pesto & pasta as a side dish instead of a main meal because I think chicken, fish or steak would go great with this. I'll also try adding this pesto to crostinis and maybe top them with a little feta. Thank you for sharing your recipe.