Linguine and Spinach Pesto

Pesto and pasta are a natural. Nothing flavors a good pasta dish than a dollop of pesto. And when it comes to pesto and pasta, nothing beats fresh.

Recently, Therese and I were talking to a friend who told us about making fresh pasta. He said there was there is no comparison between fresh and store-bought pasta.

The same can be said of fresh pesto. I can attest to that firsthand. At the end of each summer, I make fresh pasta from the basil that we’ve grown in our garden. Combined with Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil, the basil makes a rich pesto.

I’ve yet to make any pesto from this year’s crop but hope to do so soon. A new recipe I would like to try follows. The pesto also contains another favorite of mine, spinach. Here, it’s put over cooked linguine — or your favorite pasta — and topped with feta cheese. It sounds delicious.

Linguine and Spinach Pesto
1 pound spaghetti, linguine (or your favorite pasta shape), uncooked (see note)
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed, well drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons margarine (or butter)
1/3 cup water
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
In a blender (or food processor), combine spinach, oil, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and basil. Mix at medium speed until finely chopped. Melt margarine in water. With blender or processor running, gradually pour in melted margarine mixture until blended. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Toss pesto with pasta. Sprinkle feta on top and serve.
Note: Whole-grain, multigrain or whole-wheat pasta varieties may be substituted.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 325 calories, 11grams fat (3 grams saturated), 45 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams protein, 1 gram dietary fiber, 420 milligrams sodium.