This recipe is from Moosewood Restaurant Low-fat Favorites and has been referred to briefly here on the BB in conjunction with reviews of this cookbook (http://community.cookinglight.com/ar...p/t-40108.html). I could not find a thread devoted to just this recipe.
However, I think this recipe is so good that it deserves its own thread. It was one of the first recipes I made from this Moosewood cookbook and I love it. It is very quick to throw together, simple, very, very, tasty and can be used not only over pasta, but as a condiment. I have made a big batch and used it as a dip for veges, as a spread for tortilla wraps, etc. My kids LOVE this recipe (no, I do not stress to them that it contains spinach). It is a great way for me to get them to eat their greens. While my kids do like and will eat regular basil pesto, this version is milder (less garlic) and they like it better. I really like its convenience in that I can throw it together really quickly. I serve it over whole wheat pasta and my family really enjoys it. It is also a nice way to use up fresh basil from my garden.
PENNE WITH CREAMY WALNUT SAUCE
Moosewood Restuarant Low-Fat Favorites
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped*
10 ounces fresh spinach
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 to 1-1/2 pounds penne (tubular pasta)
1 head broccoli
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
*To toast walnuts, place them in a single layer on an unoiled baking tray in
a conventional or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, until
fragrant and golden brown.
Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil.
While the water heats, wash the spinach and transfer it to a separate large
pot. The water clinging to the leaves should provide enough moisture to
steam it. Cover and cook the spinach on medium-high heat for about 4
minutes, until wilted but still bright green. Drain.
In a food processor or blender, combine the spinach, walnuts, cottage
cheese, garlic, Parmesan, basil, and salt and puree until smooth, working
in batches if necessary. Add pepper to taste and set aside.
When the water boils, stir in the pasta, cover, and return to a boil. Then
uncover the pot and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes.
While the pasta cooks, cut the broccoli into spears, blanch it in boiling
water to cover until just tender, about 5 minutes, and set it aside.
Drain the pasta and serve immediately in individual warmed bowls, topped
with spinach-walnut sauce and several steamed broccoli spears. Sprinkle
with grated Parmesan cheese, if you wish.
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