COURTESY: TICKLED RED on FEBRUARY 13, 2012
Can I you tell you guys something? Pesto sauce is one of my absolute favorite sauces to make. There are so many different flavor combinations that you can create in a matter of minutes with just a handful of ingredients. Mild, spicy, tangy or lemon infused; depending on which flavor combination you choose to play around with pesto can also be very good for you.
Do you guys know exactly how much nutritional goodness is packed into spinach?
The benefits listed for spinach are nearly a mile long. Vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6, protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, copper, selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.Whew, that is quite a bit of good for you crammed into one little green leaf. Add mushrooms, which are full of potassium and almonds for protein what we end up with is a one two punch pesto that even Popeye would blow his pipe over. This is how easy it is to be healthy and enjoy something scrumptious…
Saute finely chopped mushrooms with Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice until the mushrooms begin to brown.
Puree the mushrooms with garlic, almonds, Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. Add spinach and blend until the spinach is chopped fine.
Volia! That’s it. Pesto, pesto! It won’t win any beauty pageants but I’m okay with that.
Toss some whole grain penne pasta with this nummy nutritious pesto and life is good.
Spinach & Mushroom Pesto Sauce with Penne-Makes Approx. 2 cups
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- a 10-ounce package fresh baby portobello mushrooms, chopped fine (preferably in a food processor)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced and mashed
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup packed fresh spinach leaves, washed well and spun dry, stems removed and rough chopped
- 1 pound penne rigate (ridged penne) or other tubular pasta
Prep: Bring 5 quarts salted water to a boil for pasta. Cook the pasta in boiling water until it is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta.
In a medium or large non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over moderately high heat, just until hot but not smoking. Add chopped mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the liquid that the mushrooms give off is evaporated and the mushrooms begin to brown, approx. 10 minutes.
In a food processor purée the mushrooms with garlic, almonds, Parmesan and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add spinach and blend until spinach is chopped fine.
In a large bowl whisk together pesto and 2/3 cup reserved hot cooking water. Add pasta and toss well, thinning pesto, if necessary, with remaining reserved cooking water.
Serve and enjoy!
*Pesto will keep covered and chilled for up to 1 week.*