Dips, Sauces and Spreads, Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Spinach Pesto

Nicoletta July 27, 2016

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In this Spinach Pesto,  distinct earthy flavors of the spinach combined with the pungent nature of the grana padano cheese, the sweetness of the pine nuts, and the unmistakable garlic essence, absolutely delicious.

Spinach Pesto

The weeks are rolling down so fast, I cannot believe we are almost at the end of July. Back from our little vacation, the days are going by quickly, among jazzercise and yoga classes, few translations, some shopping, house cleaning, a concert, summer events in the city and of course the blog, I had to steal some time to just sit and enjoy my book. I eventually managed to finish it, the one my friend Jane lent me, and I absolutely loved it. It is called “Dance, Gladys, Dance”, by Cassie Stock, the first novel of an emergent Canadian writer. I’ve already started the next one, I usually let pass at least a day between one book and the next one, so that the characters don’t get mixed up in my brain 🙂 .



Spinach Pesto Time!

Summers are short here, so we want to take advantage of every occasion to spend time outdoor, stealing time from the everyday chores, and do whatever makes us happy. While waiting for Loreto to come back home from work on those long weekdays, I like to read, paint or color, mostly outside in the backyard, with the cats on their leashes keeping me company, and also bake, here and there.

In the kitchen, to save time and energy, we are mostly making quick and easy dishes, fresh and summery, but also tasty and satisfying. Like this Spinach Pesto, a creamy bowl made of amazing flavors blended together, a beautiful shade of green and highly nutritious content.

Spinach Pesto

It comes together real fast. You need spinach, of course, plus the basic ingredients of a regular basil pesto: garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, grana padano (or parmigiano reggiano), salt and pepper to taste. We used a food processor, starting with the dry ingredients and adding the olive oil slowly to mix and mingle.

The result is delightful, even more flavorful than regular pesto. We thought the spinach pesto would be the perfect accompaniment to a plate of fresh tagliolini. They only take a few minutes to cook and are delicate, silky and creamy in this simple dish.

Spinach Pesto

The pasta had a homemade feel, light with a slight crunch, dancing beautifully with the richness of the spinach pesto: distinct earthy flavors, combined with the acidity and pungent nature of the grana padano, the sweetness of the pine nuts calming the unmistakable garlic essence.

Buon appetito!

Song of the day: “Life is better with you”, by Michael Franti.

Spinach Pesto

Spinach Pesto

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups spinach, stemmed and washed
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano (or Parmigiano)
  • 1 clove garlic, heart removed
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 4 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil


  1. Blend the spinach, pine nuts, grana padano cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until nearly smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.


To store it, transfer to a glass jar and top with a thin coat of olive oil to prevent the top of the pesto from discoloring.
Keeps for a week in the refrigerator.

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spinach pesto

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  • Avatar
    Reply Maria July 28, 2016 at 8:22 am

    It’s like I always say, start with fresh ingredients and you can’t go wrong! Another fantastic recipe. Thanks you guys 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 28, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Thank you Maria! Yes, fresh is always better. We made that batch of spinach pesto and we ate it right away with the pasta, delicious!

  • Avatar
    Reply Demeter | Beaming Baker July 28, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Nicoletta, it’s so funny you mention letting a day pass between books so the characters don’t get mixed up in your head. 😉 I have a bad habit of reading 3-6 books at the same time, and sometimes the characters have the same names (in different books). So you can imagine how I’m like, “wait, I thought she said she was gonna do this!! Why did she?? OH. Wait a minute.” Lolol. This pesto is the prettiest shade of green. I can imagine it being so tasty on just about everything. 🙂
    Meanwhile, jazzercise classes and concerts sound fantastic. I hope you two enjoyed your vacation and will enjoy the rest of the summer. Big hugs! Pinning, of course. 😉 xo

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 28, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Wow, Demeter, I don’t know how you can manage all those books at once! My maximum were 2 but I did not enjoyed it, so back to concentrating on just one book at a time 🙂 . Thanks, we had the pesto with the pasta, but I guess it would be good on just about anything. If you switch the parmigiano with a vegan cheese you can make it 🙂 . Have a great rest of the week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Meghan July 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

    This looks absolutely fantastic, I need to try my hand at this.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 28, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Thank you Meghan! It was indeed so good, we are ready to make another batch ourselves 😉 !

  • Avatar
    Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After July 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    This summer is flying by too quickly! Wow! This pesto is beautiful and looks delicious with that pasta. I’m seriously craving Italian carbs and have homemade pizza planned for tomorrow night. I told the hubby tonight that I also wanted to make a pasta dish on Saturday night so thinking this pesto would be perfect . I’ve got a bunch of bucatini pasta too, my favorite for pesto. Yay! Thanks for sharing Nicoletta and happy weekend to you and Loreto:)

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 28, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      I crave carbs every day and I usually have carbs every day 😊. Love that also for you Friday night is Pizza night 😋. And yes to bucatini with pesto! Happy weekend, my friend, and thanks for stopping by!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop July 29, 2016 at 8:12 am

    What a great idea to use spinach. The color is so vibrant and this pesto could be used on so many different things…pasta, pizza, veggies. Sometimes we use pesto as a tip with pita chips.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 29, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Kathy, you’re right, we had it with pasta but now I’m thinking what a great use on pizza, veggies and with pita chips, yum! The flavor is sooo good!

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