Food | Spinach Walnut Pesto Pasta

| September 4, 2014

6148924483_61e4c4eec1_zA shout out to my vegetarian friends.

We’re anything BUT vegetarian at the Harp household. We were probably a pack of wolves in another life, actually.  However, whether a lifestyle choice or a health choice, more and more are living the vegetarian way.  We have friends who are vegetarians, Kristy and her husband Donaldson Johnson.  You may think, if you’re carnivorous as are we, that you can’t possibly have anything food-related in common with vegetarians. I say you can and should be open to trying some of these clever dishes.In fact, my cooking club, Girls on the Grill, Too, recently had a vegetarian theme (hosted by Kristy) and we all discovered there are many delicious ways to “go” vegetarian.  I even have a veggie lasagna on the Plat du Jour menu.  Now, when we have dinner at the Johnson’s, we insist on Kristy allowing us to enjoy her creations as well.

With that in mind, I wanted to share what is actually a good pesto recipe I found on The Candid Appetite that creates what is actually a nice vegetarian main dish. Give it a try and please, share it with me so I can share it with others.  I would enjoy posting your comments.

Here’s a tip on the pasta that the blog makes and I wanted to as well.  When you make your pasta, don’t wash it with cold water after it has boiled. That takes all of “good” from the pasta stock off and you’ll lose a lot of flavor and benefits to the pasta.  Just fill your pot with plenty of water, put in salt and a bit of olive oil and when the liquid comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and take it up just after it has softened.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, we’ve held over the Monthly Special (see details on the right) due to the response, and we’ve updated our website ( which we hope you’ll enjoy.

Enough from me, here’s how to make this great dish. Enjoy!


  • 1 Large Bag of Baby Spinach
  • 1 Bunch of Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 Cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/4 Parmesan Cheese, more for tossing later
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Pound Short Cut Pasta Noodles, like Fusilli or bowties


Bring a large pot of salted water with a bit of olive oil to a rolling Boil. Once boiling, pour in the pasta. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until tender, with a little bite to it still.

Drain and set aside while you make the pesto. Don’t wash the pasta.

For the pesto: In a food processor place the spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Pulse a couple of times until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Then turn the processor on and while its running, stream in the olive oil until creamy and smooth.

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Once satisfied, toss with the pasta and Parmesan cheese. This recipe makes a lot of pesto so you might have some leftover. If so, place in an airtight container and save for another recipe later in the week.


1497774_10200335595231062_205163012_n (2)Lisa Harp owns and operates local catering firm Plat du Jour.  She has been published by both local and regional publications including Southern Living, where she was featured as one of the Best Recipes in their annual cookbook.  She serves all of south Georgia and a portion of north Florida.  Learn more at

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