Spinach Walnut Pesto Fusilli

Skill Level
Easy
Makes
4-6 servings

Use that bag of leftover spinach to make this thick, creamy vegetarian pesto, especially delicious on fusilli pasta, because the coils catch and hold the sauce. This particular fusilli features Kernza®, a wheatlike grain with a nutty, buttery flavor and exceptional environmental benefits: a massive root system that regenerates topsoil and draws down carbon.


Ingredients

  • 12 oz. fusilli, such as Patagonia Provisions Organic Kernza® Fusilli
  • ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 6 oz. thawed frozen spinach or 12 oz. fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup each chopped fresh parsley and finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. red chile (coarsely ground or flakes), such as Patagonia Provisions Organic Aji Molido
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For topping: more walnuts, parsley, Parmesan and red chile

Putting It All Together

  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Add fusilli and cook until just tender, 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Put the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.
  3. If you’re using thawed frozen spinach, drain it in a colander, pressing lightly to get rid of excess water (the spinach should still be a little juicy). Add frozen or fresh spinach to walnuts in the food processor, along with parsley, Parmesan, garlic, lemon, salt and chile. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Keep whirling the pesto, stopping often to scrape the sides, until very smooth.
  4. Drain pasta, saving a cupful of the cooking water. Put back in the pot over low heat and stir in plenty of pesto—enough to evenly coat the fusilli and sink down between the ridges. If the pesto is too thick, drizzle in a little pasta water to loosen things up.
  5. To serve, sprinkle with any or all of the toppings.