I love pesto. While the traditional recipe calls for basil and pine nuts, it’s versatility and adaptability to personal taste are evidenced by the numerous innovative versions out there. When I saw the recipe for sun-dried tomato pesto by Oh She Glows last week, I couldn’t pin it fast enough! Btw, how awesome is Pinterest! I don’t know why it took me SOO long to join!! I’ve been pinning like a maniac. Sure makes finding recipes a lot easier!
All her recipes are perfection and I usually follow them to the T. However, I did make a few adjustments of my own this time. I prefer spinach over basil in my pesto. And since I have an overflow of almonds, I decided to substitute them in place of walnuts. I also used dried sun-dried tomatoes instead of the oil-packed ones because that’s what I had on hand. Finally, I added chickpeas for extra protein.
I poured the pesto over both quinoa and whole-wheat fusilli pasta. They were both delicious. Tim actually preferred the fusilli pasta. He thought the spiral shape of the pasta trapped the sauce nicely. I will say, though, that for the quinoa, I liked the pesto a little bit thicker. For the fusilli pasta version, I added a little more water to the sauce to thin out the consistency.
Sun-Dried Tomato Spinach Pesto Pasta
Yields: 1 1/2 cup
Ingredients for Pesto:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup spinach, packed
- 1/4 cup chickpeas
- 7 sun-dried tomatoes (either oil-packed or dried) *
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 8-10 Tbs liquid from reconstituting tomatoes or water **
- 1/4 cup almonds
- s&p to taste
- 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
- Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
*If using dried tomatoes, soak in water for about 30 min until soft and pliable. Save the liquid, and use it instead of water.
** May need to add more or less depending on your preference of consistency.
- Drop garlic, spinach, and chickpeas into a food processor and give it a whirl.
- Add tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and liquid while drizzling in EVOO. Process until smooth.
- Pulse in the almonds and season with s&p to taste.
Now, I know that the color doesn’t look too appetizing, but don’t let that fool you! Looks can be deceiving.
Shrimp, avocado, quinoa with the pesto.
Chicken sausage, tomatoes, spinach whole-wheat pasta with the pesto.