Simply "to die for" Pesto Pasta

 

– By  Suzanne Soto-Davies, Publisher, Silver & Gold

My grandmother was a great cook. Being from then-Yugoslavia, she made a lot of traditional European dishes with her own twist and history, and this was one of her favourite dishes. She always combined fresh basil from her garden with fresh spinach, and it was simply delicious!

Making pesto sauce is so easy that once you try it, you will rethink using that canned or jarred tomato sauce. We like to add green beans to this recipe because they give the dish an additional crispy bite that makes for such a nice texture combination in a dish, rather than just having a whole bowl of mush.

 

Plus, not only are green beans a low-calorie food, they also provide a whole lot of key nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K (great for skin, hair and bones), dietary fibre,
and folate. 

 

At our home, we prefer to eat gluten-free pasta, which at times can be tricky to cook because it can get mushy if you add oil to the water, or if they're overcooked. It also needs to be rinsed well and left slightly al dente before adding your sauces on top.

We like the many benefits of gluten-free pasta, however, since many of them are made with combined highly-nutritious flours such as corn, quinoa, and rice. If your digestive system has a difficult time with multi-grain pasta, as many people do, you can look for a corn-only pasta. Just be sure to eat it up because it typically doesn't keep (and can go hard and crunchy if left overnight, yech!). 

Whichever pasta is your favourite, this Basil and Spinach Pesto Sauce will be a winner at your dinner table, so try it out and let us know what you think!

Ingredients:

In a blender or food processor, combine:

  • 1 Cup of fresh basil and 1 Cup of spinach (Equal amounts of fresh pesto and spinach). We prefer to use organic herbs and vegetables, as they can act like small sponges absorbing pesticides. Always be sure to rinse your herbs well!

  • pinch of salt

  • pinch of pepper

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • juice of 1/2 lime

  • 1/4 Cup of olive or grapeseed oil

Separately:

  • In a small pot, cut up fresh green beans about 1" in length, and boil to al-dente consistency – approximately 5 minutes from boil-time.

  • In another separate small pot, cut up one potato in 1" cubes (skins included!) and cook until it's slightly fork-tender but not overcooked, about 5-7 minutes.

For serving:

Fresh ground Parmesan or Romano cheese

How to:

First, combine all the blender ingredients until a smooth paste forms.

Second, boil your beans and potatoes in separate pots. At the same time, cook your pasta as per package directions. Drain and rinse pasta, then combine all ingredients: Pasta, with cooked beans and potatoes, and pour pesto sauce overtop. Mix well to combine. Serve immediately with fresh ground cheese on top.

 

Optional:

Add roasted pine nuts or toasted walnut pieces for that added nutty crunch flavour. 

We recommend making this sauce in advance and refrigerating it so it's ready for you to use when pasta night comes around. Once made and cooled, you can also freeze your new favourite Pesto Sauce!

 

If you are interested in a light, low-calorie creamier pasta dish, we also have the most-amazing Alfredo Sauce... It's tasty, creamy, healthy, and low in fat! Enjoy your pasta dish tonight!

 

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