Pasta in Spinach Pesto Sauce (4 Options)
Hope you enjoy this zesty pesto sauce with a different approach! Consider using gluten free, vegan or low calorie option for those who are sensitive to gluten or milk products or just have a desire to cut calories!
- 17 oz (~ 500 gm) Raditori pasta (grooves for the sauce to stick) – follow cooking instructions on package (cook ~ 8 to 10 min in 1/4 tsp salted water and 1 tsp olive oil)
- Gluten free: Use buck wheat soba noodles (buck wheat is not related to wheat or even considered a “grain”, but is a nutritious fruit seed related rhubarb and sorrel)
- 1 lb (~ 1/2 Kg) spinach – microwave uncovered for 4 min
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 green chile
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Food process all of the above – (microwaved spinach, pine nuts, 3 garlic cloves, 1 green chile, olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar)
- 1. Primary: 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup cream, 1 cup soft Fontina cheese, 2 tb sour cream, ~ 4 tbsp pasta water – blend with hand mixer
- 2. Vegan : 1 block soft tofu, 1 cup tofu cheese (looks like grated white jack and yellow cheddar), ~ 4 tbsp pasta water – crumble tofu (don’t puree)
- 3. Low calorie: 1 1/3 cup strained yogurt, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, ~ 4 tbsp pasta water – mix
- 4. Use soba noodles/pasta or other gluten free pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves – slice
- 2 tsp red chile flakes
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- ~ 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 3/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (optional) for garnishing – grate
- Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a dome pan and add garlic slices until translucent golden.
- Then add red chile flakes, black pepper and pasta seasoning.
- Reduce heat to low. Add spinach pesto and salt for few min before adding any one of the 3 options given and desired.
- Increase heat to medium and cook for ~ 4 min.
- Add the pasta and mix. Turn off heat.
- Garnish with the desired option cheese – tofu or Parmesan or fresh mozzarella.
- Adding Parmesan to the hot pasta first will flavor and allow the sauce to stick to the pasta.
- I like to use Raditori pasta because the sauce fills in the grooves.