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Fusilli with Spinach and Walnut Pesto

The ridges in spiral-cut fusilli are ideal for catching this fresh green sauce. Orecchiette or penne rigate would also work well.

  • prep: 15 mins
    total time: 35 mins
  • servings: 6




  • 1 bunch spinach (about 1 pound), trimmed and washed
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 1/4 cup shaved pecorino cheese (1 ounce), for serving


  1. Step 1

    Add spinach and 1 tablespoon water to a large skillet set over medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. In a food processor, combine spinach, walnuts, oil, and lemon zest. Process until mixture forms a smooth paste, scraping down bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Step 2

    In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta. Return pasta to pot and add pesto, tossing to combine and adding enough pasta water to create a sauce that coats pasta. Transfer to a serving plate, top with pecorino, and serve immediately.

Everyday Food, March 2011