Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Macaroni in spinach-pumpkin seeds pesto

Although authentic pesto sauce calls for pine nuts & basil, I have tried creating pesto using Thai Basil (it has a strong aroma), Chinese spinach (Phuay Leng) & various seeds like pumpkin seeds, cashews & almonds. Whatever combo I tried became a huge hit at home. My hubby felt the aroma is very strong for Thai Basil but loved eating them. My son who is a big fan of pasta loves to eat this pesto sauce too (I'm happy that this way some leafy vegetables make way to his stomach :p)

 Ingredients: (Will serve 2-3)
Macaroni: 2 cups
Salt: According to taste
Capsicum: 1/2 cup (cut into 1 cm squares)
Olive oil: 1 tsp
Parmesan cheese: 1 tbsp (optional)

For pesto sauce:
Spinach : 1 bunch (around 200gms)
Pumpkin seeds: 2 tbsp
Garlic: 2 cloves
Green chillies: 2 nos (Authentic pesto sauce doesn't call for it, but to match our taste buds I add!)
Parmesan cheese: 1 tbsp (it is better to add it, if you can't find it add more of olive oil)
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Salt: According to taste

  • Cook macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain the water & keep aside 1 cup of the boiled water.
Sauce preparation:
  • Blanch the spinach.Make a smooth paste of pumpkin seeds, blanched spinach, garlic, green chillies, Parmesan cheese, olive oil & salt. Finally add the lemon juice & keep it aside.
  • Heat  oil in a broad pan. When oil is hot, throw in the capsicum & cook on a medium-high heat for 2-3 mins. When the capsicum is cooked & yet firm, add the spinach sauce, cooked pasta & 1/2 cup of water. Mix them gently & cook on a low heat for 3-4mins. Adjust the salt (note: both the cooked pasta & the sauce has salt in it).
  • Finally garnish it with cheese & serve hot.

  • Refer this if you are blanching the spinach for the first time.
  • Pumpkin seeds could be replaced with cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts or pine nuts.


  1. Really looks very good.Would have tasted very good I know. Very tempting and healthy tooo.

  2. love the recipe of pesto sauce, pasta looks very yum with the sauce...

  3. Wow..Yummy Macroni recipe..Thx for sharing dear with alll

  4. very tempting and inviting macaroni dish.

  5. your picture is making me hungry..........

  6. i like the idea of making pesto from spinach and pumpkin seeds.. very unique.

  7. WOW such a beautiful pic. Looks yummy.

  8. AHH! fabulouos green and lovely pic.

  9. Great stuff!! I love vege-pestos!!

  10. Loved the color which makes it so tempting.

  11. eye catching color..the pasta looks so delicious.i liked ur version of pesto..
    the color itself says its so yummy..

  12. What an interesting pesto recipe! Love the gorgeous green color!

  13. Nice recipe,very new to me,thanks for the recipe!

  14. I love Thai basil, and I grow it in my garden:) the pumpkin seeds is a great idea! loved your pic and recipe:)

    I'm hosting Presto Pasta Nights on my blog and this would be a great addition, if you'd be kind enough to participate!:)

  15. The color is very inviting and looks delicious!



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