My tastes buds just explode when I think about the flavors in this recipe. The ingredients are simple, fresh and best of all, you will spend very little time over the stove preparing this meal. If there is one thing that really frustrates me as a real food lover and a dietitian it is the belief that nutritious food doesn’t taste good. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, if you’re still of the mindset that adhering to a healthy diet means microwaving Weight Watchers frozen dinners, slurping down diet sodas and munching on Slim Fast bars, well then, you’re right. Check out the labels on those foods…artificial ingredients rarely tastes as good as the real thing. Food that is fresh and unprocessed is not only what the body craves, but is bursting with the kind flavor that could never be replicated in a factory. Why settle for artificial when you can take pure whole food ingredients like spinach, walnuts and garlic and turn it into something amazing and satisfying like this wonderful pesto! No need for sodium benzoate or FD&C Green No.3 (yuck!) to make it appealing!
One of the best things about pesto is that it is so easy to make and perfect for a weeknight meal. Make it ahead and save even more time! Essentially, the pasta is the only think you’ll need to cook. But if you like, you can tune down the raw garlic flavor by sautéing the pesto for one minute in a skillet and then adding the pasta right into the pan to absorb all the delicious flavor. Otherwise, the pesto can be added directly to the pasta after blending. Either way, it’s totally deeeelish!
Egg Pappardelle with Lemony Spinach Walnut Pesto & Ricotta
- 1 lb. egg pappardelle pasta
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
For the Pesto:
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (no salt added) + some extra for garnish
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)
- fresh juice from one whole lemon
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta. In the meantime, make the pesto by combining all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Drain pasta and mix in the pesto, gradually adding some reserved pasta water if needed to moisten (pasta should not be soupy). Top with a scoop of ricotta cheese and a few pieces chopped walnuts.