- 1 pound pasta of choice (I use spaghetti, gemelli or elbows)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- olive oil
- 1/3 cup chunks pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 (10-ounce) container baby spinach
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
This recipe was created out of necessity. I never have the fresh ingredients for pesto, but I always have cheese, spinach and some sort of nut in the house. This was literally an experiment, and it turns out my kids were obsessed and now it's on weekly rotation. It's so easy and is the perfect weeknight meal. The hardest part is waiting for the pasta to cook!
Technique tip: Leftover sauce freezes really well; I usually thaw it on the counter and put the cold sauce on hot noodles for an even faster dinner.
Boil the pasta according to package instructions in salted water.2.
Sauté garlic in olive oil until lightly toasted, then let cool slightly.3.
Place the cheese chunks into a blender or food processor. Pulse until grated finely. Add walnuts, cooked garlic, fresh spinach and a good glug of olive oil. Begin pulsing and add pasta water as needed to make a sauce with your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.4.
Drain pasta and top with as much sauce as you like. Mix until sauce coats noodles evenly, and serve.