Spinach pesto pasta

Last updated: 15 December 2020
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Dietary: Vegetarian


1 tbsp pine nuts
2 cups spinach (or rocket)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
½ lemon, juice
40ml (8 tsp) extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper

To serve

tagliatelle or spaghetti
toasted pine nuts
grated parmesan cheese


  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until golden. Remove from the heat.
  2. Put the pine nuts, spinach (or rocket), garlic, cheese, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  3. With the motor running gradually pour in most of the olive oil until well blended.
  4. Spoon into a cold sterilised jar. Pour a little of the remaining oil over the top and seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  5. Toss with hot pasta and garnish with walnuts or pine nuts and parmesan.

Tip: Pesto freezes well. Freeze in ice cube trays, and then transfer to a freezer container to drop into soups and sauces.

Leftovers: The pesto will keep for two weeks in the fridge and can be added to pasta, salads and meats.


Substitute half or all of the spinach with rocket if you have rocket to use up instead. Add basil or other fresh herbs you need to use up.