ironamma

A new wave of vegetarian cooking!

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!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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)

Options:

  • 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

Seasoning:

  • 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

PREPARATION:

  • 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.

*Note

  • 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.
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