Cooking with Kids: Pasta with Pesto

We made a delicious lunch of pasta with spinach basil pesto with the children and we thought you’d love the recipe, too. Children can help make this recipe, and the steps in bold indicate what the adults need to do.  

Spinach Basil Pesto

1 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1 cup basil leaves
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup roasted pine nuts or walnuts (this is optional – we don’t add nuts to meals at school)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Let the kids smell the leaves and tell you the color. We also let them smell the lemon, and identify its colour.
Wash the leaves.
Squeeze the juice of the lemon out using a citrus juicer.
Put the spinach, basil, garlic, nuts (if using) in the food processor with the salt, pepper and 3/4 of the oil.
Blend until nearly smooth scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary.
Count the pasta and may be separate by color to make it more fun.
Add pasta to boiling water. Drain when cooked. 
Toss it with the pesto, the rest of the olive oil and Parmesan cheese and serve.

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