Winter pesto is made with spinach and sometimes parsley, which is what I put in this version. The lovely thing about spinach, unlike basil, is that it stays vibrant green long after it is blended into a pesto. The color itself brightens my meal!
I like to add a little butter to the pesto to cut the sharpness of the garlic in winter pesto. Since there is no natural oil in spinach the way there is in basil, the garlic is a little too sharp.
I will be sending this of to Pia of Cook with Pia who is hosting this week's Presto Pasta Nights. If you want to participate, send your submission to cookwithpia (at) gmail (dot) com and cc ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com by Thursday, February 17 and join the fun!
Penne with Winter Pesto
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
1 cup parsley, loosely packed
2-3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup walnut pieces
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup parmesan, shredded fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 lb penne pasta
Place spinach, parsley, garlic, walnuts and olive oil in food processor and pulse until smooth. Add parmesan cheese and salt to taste. Add to cooked pasta and swirl butter into hot pasta and sauce if desired. Serve
Recipes currently inspiring me:
Wisconsin Parmesan and Pasta Cacciatore Frittata at The Well-Seasoned Cook
Potato, Leek and Spinach and Rice Soup at The Tinned Tomatoes
Indian Chicken Khadai at Ladyberd's Kitchen