The next time you fire up the stove for pasta night, consider this creamy spinach pesto that’s packed with an unexpected ingredient: white cannellini beans. It’s an easy dinner you can throw together in minutes without too much prep. And, it’s totally customizable. Prefer a more herbaceous pesto? Just swap out the spinach for basil, or you can even add in arugula for a peppery kick. Don’t have white cannellini beans on hand? Any other white variety will do: garbanzo, navy, or great northern.Print
- 1 pound dried pasta
- 3 cups spinach leaves, kale leaves, or blanched broccoli (or whatever greens you have on hand)
- 1/3 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of chili flakes, plus more for garnish, if desired
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- In a food processor, combine spinach, beans, garlic, salt, lemon juice, chili flakes, and vinegar. Blend until finely chopped. While the food processor is still running, pour in olive oil in a steady stream until pesto is blended and smooth. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
- Boil pasta in a pot of heavily salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water. Thoroughly fold pesto in with the hot pasta. If the sauce is too thick, add in pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency. Top with Parmesan cheese and more chili flakes as desired and serve warm.