Whole-Wheat Pasta With Spinach-Walnut Pesto & Zucchini Ribbons



  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 ounce zucchini
  • 1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves, stems trimmed, washed and dried
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 ounce whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti, linguine or fettuccini
  • 1 pinch pepper

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking spaghetti. Toast all the walnuts in dry, medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes, Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Trim ends of zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, cut off lengthwise ribbons of zucchini, turning zucchini after shaving several ribbons and continuing until you reach seedy portion of the core. Discard core. Make several stacks of zucchini slices; cut in half lengthwise to resemble strands of pasta.

Place spinach, garlic, salt and 1/3 cup toasted walnuts in food processor fitted with steel chopping blade. (If you dont have a food processor, you can use a blender but it is not as efficient.) Pulse until walnuts are ground. With motor running, gradually add oil. Add Parmesan and pepper; pulse until mixed in. Stop and scrape down sides of work bowl as necessary. Transfer to medium bowl.

Add spaghetti to boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente (tender, but retaining some texture; it should not be soft), 8 to 11 minutes, or according to package directions. Three minutes before spaghetti is done, add zucchini ribbons to boiling water. Scoop out 1/3 cup cooking water and stir into the spinach-walnut pesto.

When spaghetti is ready, drain and place in large bowl. Add the pesto and toss to coat well. Serve, sprinkled with remaining 2 Tbsp toasted walnuts.

Yield: 4 (1-cup) servings.

Per serving: Calories: 390. Total fat: 19 grams. Saturated fat: 3 grams. Cholesterol: 5 milligrams. Sodium: 430 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 47 grams: Fiber: 8 grams. Protein: 14 grams.

Tip: The pesto can be made ahead of time. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent discoloration and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


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