Pasta with Creamy Spinach Walnut Sauce

From Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites. I used regular cottage cheese and a bit more basil, and it tasted excellent.  You can store the sauce in the fridge for a while and make the pasta in batches to suit your tastes.

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Ingredients

  • 10 oz fresh spinach (washed)
  • 1/2 c walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • 2 c low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c (or more) fresh basil
  • 1/4 t salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb pasta (I like to use fusilli)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bit-sized florets

Instructions

  1. Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil.
  2. Blanch broccoli in water for 1 to 1.5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  3. Steam spinach by placing in a large microwave-safe bowl and cooking on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, until wilted but still bright green. The water on the spinach leaves should be enough, but if it looks like it’s burning, you can throw a little water.  Drain of excess water and set aside.
  4. In a food processor or blender, combine the spinach, walnuts, cottage cheese, garlic, Parmesan, and basil, and puree until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  5. Cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente, about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and broccoli.