Every Wednesday night we have a family and friends company spaghetti dinner. Typically I'm on Caesar salad duty, and spaghetti with marinara sauce and ground beef is the main fare. Not being able to eat typical spaghetti or tomato sauce, I usually just stick with the salad, but last night I was surprised by a bag of brown rice quinoa pasta, and decided to mix things up so that I could partake in the pasta festivities for once!
Spinach almond pesto may sound like a slight departure from the usual basil and pine nut variety, but with a scarcity of basil and an abundance of almonds this was the obvious solution to feed a large crowd. And yes, to answer a question posed earlier that day, even "normal people" without my dietary restrictions will like it.
I served the pesto alongside a giant bowl of spaghetti and a pan of sautéed vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms and onion), but it would be delicious with grilled chicken or a dipping sauce for fresh vegetables.
SPINACH ALMOND PESTO
- 1 cup almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 13 ounces spinach
- a large handful of grated Pecorino Romano cheese (2-3 ounces)
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of freshly-ground black pepper
Put on your earmuffs so you don’t lose your hearing, and combine the almonds and garlic cloves in a food processor until coarsely ground. Remove your muffs, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and water so you have some liquid in the bowl. Add the spinach one large handful at a time, pulsing to incorporate as you go along. If you add the spinach slowly enough, you shouldn’t need any additional liquid. Once the spinach is combined, incorporate the Pecorino, salt, and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serves a crowd