We’re lucky enough to live next door to a farmer, so when she started up her weekly markets recently, I knew that a batch of pesto was in order. This easy pesto pasta recipe is one of my family’s favorites: It’s easy to make, filled with flavor, and a nice change of pace from the more traditional red sauce. And in the spring, when baby greens are starting to pop up at local markets but basil isn’t quite in season yet, it’s the perfect dish.
I used this recipe for Angel Hair with Walnut Pestoand made just a few simple swaps to turn it into Spinach Pesto:
- Instead of the basil, I used baby spinach.
- Rather than walnuts, I traded in roasted almonds.
- I decreased the olive oil to 1/3 cup and added the juice of one small lemon to brighten the flavors a bit (and to add a bit of needed moisture).
My 3 year old loves pesto. I’m not sure exactly how it became one of her favorite meals, but I’m really glad that it did because it’s a super simple way to serve up a load of nutrients in a kid-friendly form. We stock our freezer with a kale version when we have too much of it growing in our garden in the summer and eat it on pizza and pasta all winter long. This spinach version is my new go-to for the spring until the more traditional basil (and our kale) is back in season.
Angel hair pairs particularly well with pesto, though we like the quinoa-rice pasta from Trader Joe’s as a gluten-free option. I also added frozen petite peas to my strainer before pouring in the pasta and hot cooking water (the peas thaw almost immediately that way without the need of a second pot) to add a little vegetarian protein. I highly recommend that you make a double batch of this pesto—it’s so yummy, one meal won’t be enough!
Get the original recipe for Angel Hair with Walnut Pesto here.