I know, back-to-back pasta sauces. But you see, it’s hot out. We need these sauces.
In the winter, it’s easy to make dinner for a big group of friends. You pop a pot on the stove and make a big batch of lemon basil marinara sauce or kalamata olive marinara sauce with your favorite pasta and you call it a day. In the summer, if you don’t have a grill or outdoor space your options are fairly limited.
Pasta is a cheap, easy way to feed a crowd but homemade sauces usually involve an open flame and when you have a dozen people in your apartment, the last thing you probably want is to be in the kitchen, sweating to the tune of a hot stove and oven.
Pesto is a perfect fix for summer entertaining because it’s simple, elegant and a little bit goes a long way – one batch will dress up to 2 pounds of pasta and if you don’t use it all, you can freeze individual 2-tablespoon portions in an ice cube tray for weeknight dinners.
This pesto is a little bit different than traditional pesto sauces that combine herbs, cheese and nuts for flavor. The base of this pesto is spinach and white beans, inspired by a dip recipe that I noticed in a magazine. It’s thicker than most pesto sauces, but also more filling and nutritious.
Spinach & White Bean Pesto Sauce
What You Need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
2 1/2 cups spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 black pepper
Cooked pasta of your choice
In a food processor, combine the garlic oil, beans, spinach, dill, and lemon juice. Season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and puree until smooth. Serve over your favorite cooked pasta. Makes about 10 servings. To freeze: place in ice cube trays or a freezer safe container for up to a month.Print This Recipe