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Grilled Asparagus & Spinach Pesto Rotelle Pasta

Grilled asparagus and rotelle pasta tossed with creamy spinach, red onion, garlic pesto. Perfect for a 30 minute dinner!

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WHAT’S GOING ON HERE:

Spinach:  Baby spinach is the perfect star for pesto its neutral but flavorful and I tend to have a ton on hand. You also don’t have to worry about it browning like traditional pesto. It’s also full of nutrients!

Red Onion: Red onion adds a sweet tang. Its a nice bite that breaks down well in the pesto. The red onion makes the pesto super aromatic once it hits the warm pan.

White Wine Vinegar: White wine vinegar needs to be added last. Its cuts the fat on your palette and it brightens the spinach. If you don’t have white wine vinegar a little regular white vinegar or lemon will do the trick.

Olive Oil: You need a bright refreshing olive oil for pesto. Skip the heavier oils like safflower or canola. Olive oil also helps the spinach run through the blend easier. Start small by pouring in a steady stream but watch out so you don’t add in too much. You want the spinach and olive to join together not separate.

TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST CREAMY SPINACH PESTO ROTELLE 

oil: using the right olive oil is key to good pesto. too heavy and it weighs down the dish. too plain and it adds no extra flavor. a good quality olive oil is perfect for a nice light pesto.

pasta water: pasta water once salted and boiled with noodles is really starchy its a quick way to thicken a sauce. to make sure i don’t accidently drain the water close to the 60 second mark i scoop 1/2 cup into a measuring cup before muscle memory kicks in. add the pasta water back into the drained pasta and pesto while its still hot.

acid: with allot of vegetables, in particular raw vegetables they need a little help opening up. salt and acid will do the trick. salt will draw out some flavor while white wine vinegar brightens and rounds out the flavor.

no cooking necessary: don’t worry about this pesto becoming watery. the spinach breaks down so fine that once it hits the pan the pasta absorbs everything. no need to precook the spinach or onions.

cheese: cheese although it has a ton of flavor. its mainly used as a thickener in pesto. the cheese will bind with the olive oil resulting in a super creamy pesto.

SIMILAR  INGREDIENTS TO:

  1. RED WALNUT PESTO
  2. SOUTHWESTERN SHRIMP SALAD
  3. CHERRY TOMATO AND ANCHOVY BUTTER SPAGHETTI

ENJOY THIS RECIPE WITH:

  1. ROASTED CHICKEN & HALOUMI TOPPED W/ CALABRIAN CHILI PESTO
  2. CHICKEN MARSALA
  3. CRISPY CHICKEN W/ CAPER & GARLIC GREMOLATA

Grilled Asparagus & Spinach Pesto Rotelle Pasta

Grilled Asparagus & Spinach Pesto Rotelle Pasta
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INGREDIENTS

  • 10oz Rotelle Pasta
  • 1 bunch Asparagus, chopped
  • SPINACH PESTO
  • 4c Baby Spinach
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4c Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4c-1/2c Olive Oil
  • 1tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2tsp Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1TB White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4c-1/2c Salted Pasta Water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • To make the pesto start off by adding spinach, red onion, and garlic to the food processor.
  • Pulse about 10 times so the spinach starts to break down.
  • Once broken down with the food processor still running on low add in olive oil, cheese and season with crushed red peppers, black peppers and salt to taste.
  • Once the pesto at the desired consistency add in white wine vinegar.
  • Keep the pasta to the side while you boil the noodles.
  • In the pan you plan to use for the noodles. Add in a splash of olive oil and grill the asparagus for 5 minutes. Once cooked season with salt and pepper then set to the side.
  • Boil the noodles in salted water according to package instructions. Scoop our and reserve 1/2c of water in a measuring cup once the pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta.
  • Add pasta back into the pan, season lightly with black pepper. Toss in asparagus, pesto and half of the hot pasta water. Toss till combined add in more cheese to thicken. If the pasta is at your desired
  • consistency no need to add more water.
  • Toss and serve with extra cheese and black pepper.
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