This wholewheat spaghetti with zucchini and spinach almond pesto sauce is wholesome and delicious!
I’m hoping for a repeat of last weekend, because we pretty much had the best weekend ever.
I know it’s Friday and the beginning of a new weekend but I’m still reminiscing over the one we had last. It was a weekend filled to the brim with sunshine, relaxation, cocktails, good food and we ended it on Memorial Day where we lounged on the boat in the middle of our lake, soaking up the sun. Even Pat said that it felt like we took a vacation because we only left home to get groceries.
I made french toast and bacon one morning, Pat made us girls scrambled eggs with toast on another day. I also made these bonkers-awesome Italian subs for dinner because we were feeling all sorts of lazy and then on Sunday (which felt like Saturday) Pat and I together made my mother-in-laws infamous tacos. A recipe I still have yet to share on here… but I will someday, I promise.
Having a weekend without girls softball- except for watching U of M win the NCAA super regional and move on to the College World Series (seriously so much more fun than watching MLB- in my opinion)- opened our schedule up to do nothing absolutely nothing.
Can’t all weekends be like last weekend?
In other news: pasta!
This is one of those clean-out-your-fridge-and-pantry sort of situations. I over bought (typical) zucchinis when shopping for these kebabs so I scavenged the rest of my kitchen and found a half-full jumbo clamshell of baby spinach, the last of my marcona almonds, shallots and garlic and BOOM! I made you a easy, meatless pasta dish.
Quickly toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly golden brown.
Then add them to a mini food processor and setting off to the side.
Fill a large pot with water, season with a generous amount (like 1-2 tablespoons) of sea salt and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons (unsalted) butter on medium-low in a 10-inch deep sided skillet…
…and slice up 3 cloves of garlic and a good size shallot.
In this recipe I’m using whole wheat pasta but really any pasta will do. You’ll just need 1 pound.
Once the water is at a rapid boil, add the pasta and cook accordingly to the directions on the package.
Going back to the pan-o-butter: once melted add in the shallots, garlic and season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
Cook for a few minutes until both have softened.
Add in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, now that I think of it, you could do olive oil here if you want to…
Add in 3 heaping handfuls of baby spinach…
…and add it right on into the pan.
Toss and cook and cook and toss until the spinach is bright green and wilted.
Reduce the heat under the pan to low and add the spinach/garlic/shallot mixture to the almonds in the mini food processor, returning the pan to the heat…
…and pulse until it resembles pesto!
By now the pasta should be done. Remove about 2 cups of the pasta water- we’ll need this to make our sauce…
…before draining the pasta.
Add a 1/4 or so of the pasta water to the pan and scrape up any browned bits off of the bottom.
Then, add in the whole wheat pasta…
…the spinach and almond pesto…
…and as much of the pasta water to thin it all out. For me it was close to 1-1/2 cups.
Give the pasta a toss before adding in the zucchini…
Gently toss the zucchini with the pasta, adding more water if needed, then sprinkle in 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
…and a little red pepper flakes if you want some heat. I wanted some heat. 😉 Taste-test and season with salt and pepper to your personal preference.
Transfer the pasta in a gigantic bowl and serve!
This is my kind of pasta dish. Light, fresh and simple. Some garlic toast a glass of chilled white wine and I am complete.
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