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Spinach basil pesto pasta
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5 from 3 reviews

Spinach-Basil Pesto Pasta

This mild spinach-basil pesto tastes fresh, herbal, and nutty. It is super easy to make in a food processor or blender. Toss it with any kind of pasta and enjoy! This pesto also tastes delicious in sandwiches (mix with some mayo or cream cheese), on pizza (add a drizzle of olive oil), as a dip (mix with some sour cream), and as addition to salad vinaigrettes!
Author: carbgirl.com
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Yield: 2 servings (½ cup)


  • 8 oz (225 g) maccheroncini or any other pasta
  • 1 packed cup (40 g) baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ packed cup (10 g) fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (25 g) walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted (raw are fine too, see note)
  • ¼ cup (20 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 organic lemon, optional


  • Bring salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook according to the package instructions, 8-10 minutes.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine spinach, basil, olive oil, walnuts, Parmesan, and salt in a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is well blended, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary. If you prefer a chunkier pesto, stop processing while it still has some texture.
  • Taste, and adjust salt if necessary. If you feel it lacks zing, add a squeeze of lemon juice or some grated lemon zest.
  • Drain pasta, but reserve some of the pasta water. Toss pasta with the pesto and add some of the pasta water, if needed. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.


Walnuts: While using raw walnuts is totally fine, toasting them for 10 minutes in a 350°F preheated oven takes the pesto to the next level.
Storage: Store leftover pesto, if there is any, in a covered container in the refrigerator for several days. To prevent the pesto from changing color during storage due to oxidation, place the pesto in a container, flatten its surface, and pour a thin layer of oil over the top of the pesto. Cover with a lid. It also freezes well.