Easy Wholegrain Pasta With Spinach Pesto

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This is one of those pasta dishes I throw together when I want something gorgeous and tasty and healthy, all in under 30 minutes.

Gee, did I just make a Rachel Ray sound byte there? Oh well… you get the idea. This dish has a ton of healthy flavors packed into it: spinach, nuts (I used cashews, but you can substitute almost any nuts or even sunflower seeds, my favorite), green beans, olives, and all the time it takes is about the time you need to boil your pasta water and cook the pasta. It’s also a great dish to use up all those half-full boxes of pasta that you– if you’re like me– have sitting around in your pantry. Just mix and match. Easy.

Better, you can add to this just about any veggie you set your mind to. Roasted eggplants, if you have a little more time, would be great in here, as would roasted bell peppers, or artichokes.

For anyone who likes to read me ramble on (can’t imagine who that would be!), this post is going to be a bit of a disappointment because I’m going to cut off now and get back to all those other things I need to get done so I can have a worry-free weekend to look forward to! It’s crisp and sunny outside here in DC with the temperature at a very manageable 50 degrees,  and the weekend’s going to be even better. Yay! Think of it, if you have similarly lovely weather in your part of the world, this is the perfect dish to throw together in a hurry so you can enjoy the rest of your day.

Have a great weekend, all!
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Pasta With Spinach Pesto and Olives

(Makes 4 hearty servings)


1 pound of wholegrain pasta (I mixed up half-boxes I had of penne and rotini. Use any small pasta here). Cook it in plenty of salted water per package instructions until al dente.

1 cup olives, cut into rings or whichever way you want

2 cups green beans, cooked (I used frozen ones pre-cut in 1-inch lengths and toss them into the boiling pasta water for the last five minutes that the pasta is cooking. They turn out just perfect.)

3 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

For the pesto:

4 cups of baby spinach

1/4 cup cashew nuts (substitute with walnuts, roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, or even the more traditional pine nuts)

4 cloves of garlic, smashed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use less if you want to, but I like my pasta with plenty of olive oil!)

1 tbsp white miso (substitute with salt to taste if you don’t have or want to use this)

Place all pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until everything’s broken down into a rough paste

Place the pesto and pasta in a bowl, and add all the veggies and sunflower seeds. Check salt. Mix together thoroughly and serve.
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Desi took the camera and the pasta outdoors to get these pretty pictures of the pasta in the changing afternoon light, against a backdrop of rust and green in our Fall backyard. Hmmmm. There’s something so perfectly wistful about this time of year. pasta green 2

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

17 thoughts on “Easy Wholegrain Pasta With Spinach Pesto

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    November 19, 2010 at 4:31pm

    Sounds delish! And I love the new look of your page as well.

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    November 19, 2010 at 4:46pm

    This looks gorgeous and easy. Plus it sounds delicious.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    November 19, 2010 at 4:55pm

    Your new page looks very nice! This pasta dish looks good too!

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    November 19, 2010 at 11:05pm

    looks so yummy! I always like to read your paragraphs, the more the merrier :)

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    November 20, 2010 at 12:00am

    I love to read you ramble on! You are such a talented writer, the posts are as delicious as the recipes :)

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    November 20, 2010 at 2:29am

    pesto looks superb and delicious….

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    November 20, 2010 at 3:00pm

    Looks gorgeous! and yes, speaks for itself! :)

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sanjeeta kk

    November 22, 2010 at 8:34am

    Lovely pasta Vaishali. More so since it has the goodness of wholegrains and spinach. A very much my kind of food. Thanks for sharing it.

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    November 24, 2010 at 6:00pm

    I love the idea of adding olives to pesto pasta!! Looks scrumptious :)

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    Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    December 17, 2010 at 11:48pm

    That looks so good!!!

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    December 27, 2010 at 3:28pm

    I cooked it today. This created a good amount of sauce and since we were having it with linguine pasta, i used only half the sauce and froze the rest (good for me). I modified it it slightly since I do not like the taste of raw spinach and cooked the sauce. This is fantastic. Totally love it. The cashew nut gave it an amazing creamy taste.

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