Spinach & Almond Pesto recipe with Mortar and Pestle
Similar to my Almond & Lemon Pesto, this recipe calls for simple and fresh ingredients that are easily available.
Hi, my name is Alessandra Lauria, I am a Sicilian pasta maker expert, a dinner party host, and creator and founder of The Pasta Studio - an online (and offline) pasta school. As my roots are Sicilian, I tend to share what’s locally delicious to me. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!
I love making this pesto and adding it to pasta, especially since all the ingredients are easy to find all over the world. This is important to me as I travel often and live abroad. Italians can’t live without basil but if I’m somewhere that doesn’t have it, I will use spinach as a substitute. Even though this recipe has a bit of basil, you can leave it out if you’re unable to buy it.
Making this (and any) pesto in a mortar and pestle is always better. The colors will be more vivid and the flavors more robust. As usual, add the dry and solid ingredients first before adding veggies and the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
In this recipe, you should pre-grate the parmesan before starting the process as it is easier when adding it into the mortar. Also, you can chop the spinach after you steam them.
Spinach & Almond Pesto
This recipe uses easily available ingredients for a quick, easy, and delicious pesto!
100g of fresh spinach (I’ve used the pack you find easily in the supermarket)
20g of grated Parmesan (I used 20 months aged)
15g of almonds (with the skin)
¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium-size garlic clove
3 leaves of fresh basil (optional)
Two pinches of sea salt (I used high quality)
Mortar and Pestle
Wash the spinach and cut off the hard stem. Add to a saucepan with a bit of olive oil and let them soften over low heat for a couple of minutes with the lid on.
Grate your Parmesan cheese and prepare all the other ingredients so that they will all be ready.
First add the garlic and almonds to the mortar, pounding and grinding down. Next, add the spinach and optional basil and break them down with the pestle.
Finally, start adding the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cheese while mixing with the pestle.
Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
To make this recipe vegan, remove the cheese and replace it with some toasted breadcrumbs.
I love to add this pesto on fresh pasta (with a bit of pasta water) or on top of a piece of toast. It’s also delicious as a base for lasagna with some besciamella!
The pesto can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for 3-4 days. Just make sure there is plenty of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top of the pesto when storing.
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