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Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

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My basil is all but gone. Although, I still find Jack stuffing the small, fragrant leaves into his mouth grinning from ear to ear at his tasty accomplishment. Yet, to gather enough leaves from the plant to make anything with would be impossible. So, inspired by a friend who mentioned making this (thanks, Erica!) and not quite ready to give up my pesto addiction, I made spinach pesto for the first time to serve with our dinner of pasta and clams.

The flavor was milder than basil pesto, but the red peppers added an interesting dimension that kept your fork (or chubby toddler hand) going back for more. The clams are not a necessary addition to this dish, but they sure did a seafood sweetness that we haven’t had in our kitchen in a while. It was a yummy dish. I’m glad to have a container of this pesto frozen in our freezer for later.
*a tip for freezing pesto: freeze in ice cube trays, then empty the cubes into freezer bags or small plastic containers. This way you will have small amounts of sauce frozen…perfect for a single meal. We use 2 cubes for dinner at our house.

Spinach walnut pesto:
Stuff 6 loosely packed cups of spinach leaves, 2 baby red peppers, 3 cloves of garlic, and 1/3 cup of walnuts into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Then slowly add 1/4 cup of olive oil by drizzling it in between blends.

Stir into warm pasta and top with clams that have been sautéed in white wine, olive oil, and freshly minced garlic.

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Truthfully, there is nothing overly exciting about this dish aside from the fact that it is always good. Really good…that is, if you are a bitter greens lover like us! And, the cool thing about this meal is that the taste of it changes a bit with each season, depending on the type of greens that are available.

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Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt generously and add 3/4 pound of pasta (your choice). Cook for about 12 minutes, cooking time will depend on your pasta type. Then drain, reserving a bit of the liquid to thin out the dish.

While the pasta is cooking, sauté 3-4 cloves of garlic in a large pot with a good amount of olive oil. When the garlic is fragrant, add a large amount of mixed greens (I used nearly 2 full bunches). Any type of greens will do…I love to just browse and get what looks the best at the farmer’s market. For tonight’s dinner, I used turnip greens, spinach, and collard greens. Cook until wilted.

Combine the pasta and greens (along with all of the olive oily juices) in a large bowl (or back in the pot if you don’t want a lot of dishes to clean and you just want to dish out your plates from the stove top…nothing wrong with cutting corners midweek!) and salt adequately. Shave in some good quality parmesan because when it’s good, a little can go a long way.

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