There’s nothing better than fresh herbs wafting through your nose. All that flavor coming from a little leaf is so cool to me. Ok, maybe I’m a bit of food geek. Anyhow, I remember many a lazy summer evening eating pesto pasta for dinner when I was growing up, so I thought I’d try to mix it up a bit and add in some more veggies to that herby delight. I figure if you still keep the basil and parmesan flavors you can hide some spinach there too.
The thing I love about sauces is that they are so versatile. When I make different sauces, like this one, I start to think of all the things it would work in other than pasta. For example, this is great on a sandwich, grilled veggies, fish, chicken and stirred into some basic chicken soup. This is such a simple fast meal you can easily whip this up while pasta is on the stove or chicken is on the grill. And to me…pesto is just a little hint of summer…man I wish it were here already.
1 cup fresh spinach
1 bunch (about 1 cup) of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sliced raw almonds (you could certainly use regular raw almonds, but I had these on hand)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 lemon (you really only need 1/2 a lemon, so save the other half for your iced tea)
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat warm the olive oil and garlic until the oil is infused with the flavor of the garlic. This will take close to 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in your blender add the clean spinach and basil. Then place the nuts on top. That’s an important tip because they weigh down the leaves so the leaves will actually puree in the blender. Also add the parmesan and the juice from half of the lemon.
3. Pour the warmed garlic and olive oil in the blender too. Then, push the highest setting, on mine it’s “liquefy”. Let it go until it becomes a thick paste. You might have to stop it to make sure the leaves are reaching the bottom of the blender.
4. At this point stop and taste it, you might need to add a dash of salt and pepper to suit your taste. Toss half of the sauce over 1/2 a box of cooked pasta …and…You’re done! Dinner served. Easy, right?
5. Save the other half of the sauce in a freezer safe zip lock bag and pop it in the freezer. You can pull it out in the next two months and make this meal even faster.