Spinach artichoke pesto (and spaghetti)

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy getting an organic vegetable box every week. This week we got a bag of lovely leafy spinach, and I ummed and aahed for ages trying to decide what to make with it. In the end, having a basil plant sitting on the windowsill encouraging me to use it made me plump for this simple and delicious pesto.

Once those two ingredients were decided, it was a case of raiding the fridge and cupboards for the rest. The artichoke hearts have been lurking in the fridge for a week or so, since half of them adorned the top of a pizza. The ground almonds, somewhat inevitably, are leftover from Pesach.

We love garlic in this house, so I put a couple of cloves in and it was mega-garlicky, but you might prefer less. You can adjust according to taste 🙂

I blanched the spinach and basil leaves before whizzing them up, as this denatures the enzymes in them, and helps them to retain their bright green colour. You don’t have to do this step, but if you skip it the pesto will gradually turn a murkier colour. I saved the water from blanching the spinach and basil leaves and used it to cook the spaghetti. I suspect this made no difference whatsoever to the flavour of the pasta…

I didn’t put any cheese into the pesto, so it’s completely vegan. However, we did grate some parmesan over the top before we ate it, and it was seriously tasty. If you’re not vegan, I recommend this addition. And a few grinds of black pepper too. 

This made enough pesto for 3-4 people. Depends how generous you are with your servings. I reckon I could have eaten half of it myself, given a chance. Yum.

Spaghetti with spinach artichoke pesto.

Spinach artichoke pesto
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
493 calories
22 g
39 g
34 g
28 g
11 g
160 g
962 g
2 g
0 g
21 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 493
Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g
Saturated Fat 11g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 39mg
Sodium 962mg
Total Carbohydrates 22g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 2g
Protein 28g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 150g spinach leaves
  2. 25g basil leaves
  3. 50g ground almonds
  4. 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  5. 75g artichoke hearts in oil, drained, + 3-4 tbsp of the oil
  6. 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  7. Cooked pasta, to serve
  8. Parmesan cheese and black pepper (optional) - to serve
  1. Put the spinach and basil leaves in a colander and pour boiling water over to blanch - the leaves will wilt down quite quickly. Press any excess water out and transfer the leaves to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process to a smooth paste.
  3. Serve with pasta, and sprinkle with grated parmesan and pepper, as desired.
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As I mentioned, the spinach for this yummy dish came in my organic box, provided by the lovely people at the Cambridge Organic Food Company (Cofco). According to their website, the spinach was grown by Grahame Hughes in Attleborough, Norfolk – not too far away! So I’m entering this dish into the Shop Local challenge, hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. Since, I also saw off a wilting basil plant, the remains of a jar of artichokes, and a chunk of the ground almonds backlog, I reckon this also qualifies for the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted this month by Farmersgirl Kitchen (and also organised by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.)

And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m submitting it to Pasta Please, hosted by Franglais Kitchen and organised by Tinned Tomatoes



  1. Thanks Laura! I love spinach too but you’re right, it’s often a challenge to come up with a good way to use it up. Hope you enjoy this when the time comes 🙂

  2. I have the terrible habit of buying spinach then not knowing what to do with the rest once I’ve made the dish I bought it for so I’m bookmarking this ready for when that happens again. It sound lovely!

  3. I love artichokes, I love basil, I love spinach and I love garlic and black pepper – I would adore this dish! A very clever way to use up bits lingering in the back of the fridge. I too get a veg box and I love it when it arrives – it’s like Christmas every time! Thanks for linking up with the No Waste Food Challenge and Shop Local! 🙂

  4. Janice @FarmersgirlCook

    Thanks for entering this delicious looking dish for the No Waste Food Challenge. It’s such an amazing shade of green!

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