Warm pasta tossed with fresh basil and spinach in a very light cream sauce is an example of seasonal eating at it’s best. Inspired by the basil that is flourishing in our garden, this was a fun twist on pesto pasta and it still contained a fabulous load of flavor from the fresh basil.
While I absolutely loved this pasta, my kids were less than impressed. Both of my older boys would have been happier without the greens and my youngest happily removed all green items from his plate before he ate the rest of his pasta. I’m calling this recipe a keeper though, because I have every intention of making this again, just for myself!
Creamy Parmesan Pasta with Basil and Spinach
- 8 ounces short pasta I used brown rice fusilli
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 generous handfuls baby spinach about 4 cups
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, the minced garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook the pasta just until tender and then scoop out 1/2 a cup of the pasta water. Set the water aside and then drain the pasta.
- Pour the cream into the bottom of the same pot and warm it over medium heat. Once it is warm, add the pasta and about 1/4 cup of the reserved water back into the pot and toss gently to coat the pasta well. Add the basil and spinach leaves and toss to wilt. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook over medium low heat for a couple minutes, tossing constantly. Stir in Parmesan and remaining water as needed in order to achieve a creamy sauce that coats the pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Enjoy!