I love almond butter, it’s like peanut butter went to finishing school and got all fancy and refined. Sadly it got finishing school expensive too so it’s not ideal for AB&J sandwiches or Joey style peanut butter fingers. It’s great to use as an ingredient, particularly for people who can’t eat peanuts, but before serving up any dish with any kind of nuts in it do let your guests know it’s a nuy dish. Nothing ruins a party quite like anaphylaxis.
This meal is high in all sorts of goodness, particularly tastiness, but for those of you who like micronutrients, raw food and paleo type things the pesto is your pal, but you might want to go with butternut noodles or courgetti (or whatever people who call courgettes zucchini call zucchini cut into spaghetti type shapes. Zucchetti?).
Ordinarily when I throw multiple things in a blender I tell people not to worry about the order, but in this case it does matter, you need to put the almond butter in last or it will just smear around the bottom and you’ll need to scoop it up into the spinach paste later. I speak from experience.
It’s good on its own, but I sometimes serve it with halved cherry tomatoes, particularly when the garden is full of them, or cubed feta. If I’m putting the oven on to bake, I may roast some tomatoes and throw those on too. If they’ve cooled just pop them in a frying pan for a couple of minutes to warm them back through first.
- 200g pasta
- 2 big handfuls of spinach (or one supermarket salad pack of spinach)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp crushed dried chilli (optional, but it gives a kick)
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp almond oil off the top of the jar, or other cooking oil, I use olive oil
- 1 gin and tonic (optional)
- Set a big pan of water to boil
- Put the garlic, chili and half the spinach in your blender
- Add the oil
- Pulse until well chopped
- Add the almond butter and use a long handled spatula or knife to scoop the sides of the mix back into the middle
- Add the rest of the spinach and pulse until pesto-d (pesto-d may not be a word, but keep going until it looks like a thick paste. You may need to scoop down the sides a couple of times, if it wont turn to paste add a teaspoon or two of water to help it along, but don’t drown it into sloppiness)
- By now your pasta water should be boiling so throw in you pasta, set the timer for the time indicated on the packet and pour yourself a G&T
- If you want to serve it with fresh cherry tomatoes, halve them now
- If you’d rather serve it with feta cubes, chop them now
- If you want to serve it with roasted tomatoes you really should have thought about that earlier, they need more time to cook.
- When the pasta is cooked you can add a splash of the pasta water to the peso to make it more liquid, but I like it quite thick
- Drain the pasta, return it to the pan with the pesto, toss it around until well coated and serve in two pasta bowls
- If you’re using tomatoes or feta throw them on top and serve immediately, adding a grind of black pepper at the table if you like it.