Saturday, 27 September 2008
Spinach pesto - easy week night dinner
Once upon a time I lived in Amsterdam for a year to get to know my Dutch family and learn the language. I was a very poor young lady struggling to pay the rent every month while I did a traineeship in a gorgeous 5-star hotel in the city. This meal was cooked often in my tiny kitchen, as it would go a long way and didn't cost a lot to make. Its very tasty and easy and quick to prepare.
So, recently when I saw a luscious green bush of spinach on special at the store I remembered this dish and needed to eat it again. It was as good as I remembered. It must have been about 10 years since I last made it, but it was like yesterday and brought back lots of memories.
You can also prepare this with frozen spinach and it works fine. Just make sure you squeeze out all the excess water before you puree.
450g frozen spinach or a large bunch fresh spinach/silverbeet
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
large handful of parmesan, freshly grated
salt and pepper
Defrost the spinach well and squeeze out the excess water. If using fresh spinach, wash thoroughly and remove the stalks. Pop the leaves in large pot, put the lid on and cook for a few minutes, stirring once or twice to cook the spinach.
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. You'll need a lot of freshly grated nutmeg and salt and pepper. Taste to check the seasoning. Depending on the water content of the spinach you may need to add a spoonful of pasta water to break up the pesto. Use your instincts.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and toss through the pesto and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan on top.