Meatless Monday: Pasta with Spinach & Almond Pesto

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.  So it was the case with this recipe.  It is great to have a well stocked pantry, and I usually attempt to keep our pantry just so. However, in between the beginning of the shopping week and before it is time to go shopping again there is a lull.  I am sure it is the same in households around the globe.  The pantry is not quite exhausted but has a mish mash of items that may just not seem to go together.  Don’t despair, a quick look through the pantry and a little creativity may lead to some surprisingly tasty creations.  It was during this lull in between weekly shopping excursions, in fact closer to the time that we needed to go shopping again when I came up with this quick little recipe for a unique pesto.

After a long day of working on various projects around the house we were famished, and too tired to go out to the store I rooted around my cabinets to see what I had available for a quick meal.  Pasta, spinach, and garlic (one of my favorite things) called out to me, but I wanted something with a little richness that would provide satiety for the two of us.  I found some almonds as well and came up with this exceptional  pesto.  I have never made a pesto using almonds but reasoned that they, like the pine nuts in traditional pesto, have a creamy buttery texture when pulsed into submission in the food processor and would be a good substitute. Hitting my veggie cravings by being packed with the spinach, it also had extra protein and the richness I craved imparted by lovely oven roasted almonds.  I topped off the dish with some extra mushrooms I had left over after making another dish earlier in the week.  Over all it was a satisfying dish.  It was quick, hearty, packed with flavor, and another all veggie dish to add to my repertoire of meatless meals.  I hope it will become one of yours as well.  On a positive note (well three positive notes): We didn’t even miss the cheese.  We had plenty of leftovers for a quick lunch the next day.  Eric and I both loved it.  Bon appétit and good health to you!

Pasta with Spinach & Almond Pesto
Recipe by:
  • 8 oz linguini
  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup whole oven roasted almonds
  • ⅓ cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 8 oz mushrooms any variety
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Boil water for pasta, cooking 8 oz pasta according to package directions.
  2. In food processor combine 2 cups packed spinach, ½ cup almonds, garlic cloves, juice of ½ lemon, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  3. Pulse until mixture is chopped finely.
  4. Add oil slowly through feed tube with food processor running to throughly combine. Set aside.
  5. Slice or quarter mushrooms and sauté until golden brown in a little olive oil.
  6. When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain reserving some of pasta water.
  7. Spoon pesto over pasta and toss to coat adding some of reserved pasta water if needed.
  8. Top with sautéed mushrooms and serve.


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