Pesto Plantain Pasta

Whether you have a garden, a pot of herbs on the porch, or are a farmer's market aficionado, warmer months often = being up to your ears in basil! If you're looking for a way to use up a serious amount (4 cups) of it while it's in its prime, this classic recipe sneaks in some extra greens and makes for a fresh, bright addition to our grain-free Plantain Linguini.

 

Serves 3-4


1 package Taste Republic gluten-free plantain linguini

½ cup almonds

2 medium-sized garlic cloves

4 cups basil

2 cups baby spinach

¾ cups extra virgin olive oil

⅔ cup aged Italian cheese, grated (like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano), plus more, for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste


To make the pesto:

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 7-10 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool.

Add the nuts to the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic. Pulse quickly 10-12 times, until the almonds and garlic are roughly chopped. Add the basil and spinach and run the food processor for about 5 seconds to begin to break down the leaves. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor.

With the motor running, stream in the olive oil slowly. Scrape the pesto into a mixing bowl and fold in the grated cheese. Season to taste.


To make the pasta:

Bring a pot of salted water to boil on the stovetop. Cook pasta according to package directions, then immediately drain, reserving ⅓ cup of pasta water.

Working quickly, while the pasta is still hot, add the linguine back to the pot. Add ½ cup pesto, along with the reserved water. Stir over low heat, just until pesto has thinned out and coats the noodles.

Serve with additional grated cheese.


Tips:

  • You will have leftover pesto — use it on sandwiches, or thin with water to make a salad dressing
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can make this with a large mortar and pestle — lots of elbow grease required, and prep time will increase, but it’s super tasty and worth the effort.
  • You can sub any nut for the almonds, or go traditional and use pine nuts.
  • Feel free to play with the ratio of spinach:basil. Adding more basil will make the flavor profile sweeter; spinach will add bitter notes.

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