Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta

Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta | TheGreenForks.com

Yesterday I turned the big TWO-FIVE. That’s right, quarter century old over here! But more importantly my baby girl turns 3 tomorrow. I just can’t believe it. THREE! Where did all that precious time go???

Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta | TheGreenForks.com

I’m very excited about her birthday this year in particular.

It’s the first time she is ever going to have a big fuss made over it. And she is at the age where she will actually understand what is going on. Up until this point we’ve always been in the middle of Army stuff for her birthday. When she turned 1, we had just moved to Germany and didn’t know anybody and when she turned 2, Dave was deployed and I was completely alone in Germany and still didn’t know anybody. So there you have it. This year she turns 3 and we will all be together. We’re gonna have some fun.

Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta | TheGreenForks.com

My Mom asked me if I ever thought in a million years I’d have been living in Germany for 2 years when I turned 25. Heck no! I had far off dreams of maybe one day visiting Italy for a week when I was much older, but living in Europe?? There was no way I could have ever seen this coming.

And for that matter there were lots of things that I would never have imagined my life to include by 25- dropped out of college, married, living in Europe, TWO kids, full-time blogger, and vegan to boot! Crazy where life takes you. It’s never where you expect.

Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta | TheGreenForks.com

Speaking of being vegan…. I’ve been having a really tough time finding delicious recipes lately. I swear last week I made four things that were just horrendous. I couldn’t believe that they had actually been published in books.

When I told this to Dave, he looked at me frankly and said, “You know it’s not the books, right? It’s because the food is vegan.” Haha.

Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta | TheGreenForks.com

He kinda has a point. Let’s face it. A lot of vegan dishes simply aren’t a delicious as non-vegan dishes… but! I refuse to give up. I know there are vegan dishes out there that ARE delicious. And I swear I will find them. And when I do I will share them with you. And we can be healthy together! Here is one now.

This recipe had LOTS of flavor and turned out very yummy. I’m a pesto-enthusiast though so maybe I am slightly bias. It comes from the book “Let Them Eat Vegan” by Dreena Burton. A 5-star book, one you should definitely pick up if you are thinking of taking the health plunge.

Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta | TheGreenForks.com

I will make this one note though- I couldn’t find raw, unshelled pistachios. Everywhere I looked there were only salted, roasted, shelled pistachios. So that is what I went with.

Took me friggin’ forever to shell those darn nuts.

Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto Pasta
Serves: makes aout 1½ cups pesto
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water or vegetable stock
  • 3½ cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup (packed) parsley leaves
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked according to package instructions, 1 cup starchy cooking water reserved
  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine all ingredients (except for the pasta) and process until desired consistency is reached. This will depend on your personal preference as to whether you like your pesto more smooth or more chunky.
  2. Toss pesto with pasta. If dry, add reserved starchy cooking water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

adapted from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton, recipe also available at her blog


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  • Cara @ The Vegan Barbie September 16, 2013, 11:50 am

    Happy birthday! I will be celebrating my first vegan month next week and for awhile, my go-to was tortilla chips, refried beans, homemade Mexican rice. Not exactly body-nourishing health food. Since I’ve been working more on that, my go-tos are Four Bean Salad and brown rice spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce. I really need to branch out!

  • lmachell September 16, 2013, 6:23 pm

    Thank you and congratulations! And don’t worry about eating that kind of stuff your first month. It’s better than where you were at before probably. And I still eat that same combination now and again. It’s just so darn delicious! Oh, and I used brown rice spaghetti for this dish here too! How funny.