Don’t you love pesto like I do? You could have it on toast, pastas, pizzas, paninis and what not. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I love making a lot of variations to it. You can always mix the leafy vegetable you make it with and the nut as well.

Here’s a list of variations I make:

  1. Basil – pine nut : the classic!
  2. Rocket – Sunflower seed: a lovely twist to the classic
  3. Cilantro – pumpkin seed : Especially when I am fasting
  4. Spinach – walnut : for a super healthy version
  5. Avocado – cashew : the vegan delight

And you can obviously mix and match to come up with more variations too.

This one is my Spinach-walnut version. I blanched the spinach leaves because my husband is not a fan of the raw spinach taste, though I don’t mind it.

COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

Spinach-walnut pesto pasta


For the pesto sauce:

  1. Spinach leaves – 1/3 cup
  2. Basil leaves – 10
  3. Walnuts – 7-8 pieces
  4. Garlic -2 cloves
  5. Olive oil – a generous drizzle
  6. Milk – ½ cup, use coconut milk for a vegan version
  7. Lemon juice – ½ lemon
  8. Salt – to taste

For the pasta:

  1. Pasta – 200 gm
  2. Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
  3. Pesto sauce – 2-3 spoons
  4. Pasta water – ½ cup
  5. Tomatoes – 1, small
  6. Olive Oil – for sautéing
  7. Salt – to taste


  1. Place a pan of water to boil. Once it’s boiled, add some oil and salt to it. Add the pasta to it and allow it to simmer for 10-12 minutes until it’s al-dente (meaning to taste as per your liking).
  2. Blanch the spinach leaves by first adding them in hot boiling water for a minute and then immediately transferring them in a bowl of ice cubes/cold water. This ensures that the Spinach retains colour and freshness.
  3. Add walnuts and garlic cloves in a blender and grind into a fine powder-y consistency.
  4. Add these blanched spinach leaves, basil leaves, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a blender and mix well.
  5. Add milk and grind until smooth.
  6. Drain the excess water from the pasta. Preserve some water though.
  7. In a skillet, add some olive oil and finely chopped onion and cook it till it turns translucent.
  8. Add the pesto and the boiled pasta to it.
  9. Add some pasta water and mix with light hands.
  10. Add some tomatoes and serve hot.

Use a vegan pasta and add coconut milk for a vegan version. Love pesto pasta? Then you must try this Basil pesto pasta recipe too.