November 13

Spinach Pesto and Lemon Pasta

As much as I tell myself I don’t have food allergies, I’m not intolerant to things, and my stomach can handle just about anything (not sure it’d do okay with things like ghost peppers or super rich foods), I do have my fair share of issues. Red sauce on pasta or pizza not sitting well (not all the time), heavy cream based sauces not sitting well (hence making my own and being light with it), super greasy burgers or most deep fried things… while I realize that two of those items are common for people to not have the best of luck with, as far as the stomach goes, I still don’t like the way they make me feel, and I tend to steer clear. Sometimes I take a chance and try them, hoping for the best result, and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised and sometimes I’m cursing myself to hell for doing it. So what does one do when red sauces and cream sauces are not sitting comfortably?

When my basil is in bloom, we have a lot of pesto and chicken pasta dishes. I believe pesto goes good with any kind of meat, or, sans meat and just veggies. However, it being sort of the off season and only having stragglers at my fingertips, I need an unconventional pesto. Actually, I don’t know that using the word “unconventional” to describe this pesto is proper, but it’s not basil, pine nuts, garlic, and oil. That’s for sure.

This was a recipe that I felt an instant connection with; the moment I saw it, I said “THIS IS MINE”. I wasn’t sure The Fellow™ would care for it much since it’s so basic, but I was surprised at how much he liked it. It’s a really simple recipe using easily acquired ingredients (especially since basil can get expensive in the stores when it’s off season, or you’re no longer able to grow your own). I do have to say that I’m not sure the spinach-parsley pesto on its own, without the lemon, would be as much of a hit. While, when you taste basil your mind doesn’t automatically go to “Ooh, lemon!”, there’s still that slight hint, even if it’s just aromatic, that gives this “unconventional” pesto its pizzazz.


Spinach Pesto and Lemon Pasta

source:  The Diva Dish [15 Minutes Lemon Parsley-Spinach Pasta]


6-8 ounces pasta
1 bunch parsley
1 cup fresh spinach
2-3 cloves garlic
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil (or more depending on how ‘oily’ you like your sauce)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook pasta according to directions.

2. While pasta is cooking, puree the sunflower seeds in a food processor until crumbs appear. Next add in the rest of your ingredients to food processor. Blend a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides when necessary, until you have reached a ‘pesto’ like consistency.

3. Once pasta is done, drain, and pour into bowl. Toss pasta with about a tsp. of olive oil (optional), and then add parsley sauce to pasta. Toss until combined. Can squeeze additional lemon juice on top if desired.