Spaghetti with Walnut-Spinach Pesto

Pasta is one among the ultimate comfort foods. Quick and almost effortless when you have one of the sauces stocked in the fridge. And just in case you were wondering what to do in the absence of the aforesaid option, there is always the very frugal 'Aglio E Olio' that one can turn to. For folks who believe in having a little more diversity in their pantry, there is yet another option. The whore's style pasta or pasta alla puttanesca is nothing but some olives, capers, anchovies and garlic thrown together.

One of my favorites among all the pasta recipes happens to be spaghetti tossed with some pesto sauce. And I have a lot of variety when it comes to the pesto. For one I believe in making mine at home and using it up within a week's time if not earlier. Recently, I got my hands on some fresh baby spinach and the first thing that came to my mind was a lovely verdant pesto sauce with some walnuts, garlic and peppercorns.

I decided to keep it vegan and skipped the Parmesan. To add a little texture to the whole thing, I added some roasted and slightly charred aubergine to it. A few shredded baby spinach leaves add the requisite crunch to this pasta. Overall, a simple and yet amazing recipe.

Read on for the recipe -
























Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -
  • 150 gm spaghetti
  • 3-4 mm thick aubergine slices 
  • a fistful of baby spinach 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
For the pesto -
  • 1 cup tightly packed baby spinach
  • 8-9 walnuts
  • 3 fat garlic cloves
  • 10-12 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 pinch salt

Preparation - Coarsely grind all the ingredients for the pesto.

Add some salt to the aubergine slices and keep aside for 10-15 mins. Once it leaves the water, transfer to a baking tray .

Cooking - Boil 9-10 cups water in a saucepan. When bubbles begin to appear, add sufficient amount of salt to the water. Once it gets to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti.

Cook for 12 mins or till al-dente. Remove 2-3 tbsp of the water and add it to about 2-3 tsp of the pesto.

Drain the water in a colander, give it a good shake and toss back the spaghetti into the same vessel in which it was cooked.

Drizzle some olive oil on the aubergine slices. Roast at around 180-200 degrees in a pre-heated oven till they are lightly charred ( deep brown color ).

Add the diluted pesto and olive oil to the spaghetti. Toss to uniformly cover the spaghetti strands.

Finally add the roasted aubergine slices and shredded baby spinach. Give it a gentle shake.

Serve warm or cold.



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