I love italian food…. and I think pesto is one of the most delicious flavors. When you’re counting calories, pesto quickly becomes a mortal enemy. All that olive oil and cheese and pine nuts, it adds up really quick.
There has been a pesto recipe floating around Pinterest this week, and I had all the ingredients in my fridge. The recipe is a creamy pesto made with spinach… and it came out REALLY good.
It doesn’t taste like pesto because it lacks the basil, but it has a creamy spinach flavor that’s delish! Next time I make it, I may throw in a few sun dried tomatoes or maybe some fresh diced tomatoes on top as a way to finish it.
I quartered the recipe so that I just had one portion to eat tonight… so if my ingredients looks smaller, that’s why.
Pasta with Creamy Spinach Pesto
1 1/4 tsp. table salt, divided or more to taste
8 oz. uncooked whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti or linguini recommended
4 1/2 cup(s) fresh spinach, baby variety, washed and dried
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil, extra virgin
2 clove(s) garlic
2 1/2 Tbsp. low fat cream cheese
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (use 1 teaspoon salt). Add pasta and cook as package directs until al dente, about 8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process spinach, cream cheese, water, oil, garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth; set aside.
3. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and then drain pasta. Return pasta to pot. Add pesto sauce and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water if a thinner consistency is desired. Sprinkle with garlic salt and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
Per 1 1/4 cup serving:
CAL 271; CARB 42g; FAT 5g; SAT FAT 2g; PROT 16g; FIB 15g; SUG 1g
WW Points+: 6; WW Smart Points: 7