Spinach Pasta Pesto (workshop)
I discovered this recipe by accident, and it was part of the inspiration for the Fork Ranger book. The combination of tomatoes and chopped spinach almost creates a ground meat texture.
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Not all canned tomatoes are the same: whole peeled tomatoes have more flavour than diced ones because the best ones are selected to become peeled tomatoes. To get the best of that flavour, don’t crush them at the beginning but first let them cook. This allows the natural sugars to caramelise and be released from the cell walls. Just be careful if you’re wearing white clothes 😉
ca. 90 g
- Dice onion and mince garlic
- Cut mushrooms into slices
- Cut sun-dried tomatoes into small strips
- Take off top from beans halve them
What most people don’t like about mushrooms is the texture. You can cut the mushrooms very finely, so the texture is less pronounced in the whole meal and almost looks like ground meat.
Make it a dinner party
Blend with a hand blender or food processor: 50 g fresh basil, 20 g walnuts, 1 clove garlic, and 1 TBL sp lemon juice.
Add 2 TBL sp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Sauté onion and mushrooms
high heat ~2 min
Step 1: Put the heat on high, add a bit of oil and when everything is hot, add the mushrooms. Now the key is to not touch them for at least 1 minute. Really: don’t stir. This browns the mushrooms and creates lots of flavour. You don’t have to worry about burning mushrooms, just be careful if you’ve already added garlic because that burns easily.
Step 2: Stir. The mushrooms will make funny skeaky sounds. Cook for another minute on high heat.
Step 3: Reduce the heat. By now the mushrooms should have released lots of water. Let it simmer for a few more minutes to evaporate the water. At this stage it’s safe to add garlic without burning it.
Reduce heat and add garlic
medium heat, simmer until most of the moisture from the mushrooms is gone ~5 min, season with salt and pepper
Cook pasta with green beans
after ~2 minutes add green beans
the beans need ~10 minutes so adjust when to add them according to the pasta cooking time
Add tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and pesto
stir and bring to boil/simmer ~3 min
simmer until spinach is cooked in and everything is warm ~8 min, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed
Make it a dinner party
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve with Parmesan.
- Toast some sunflower seeds or pine nuts to serve
- Use high quality pesto or make it yourself