Rotini with Pesto, Tomatoes and Spinach Recipe

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2 votes | 3498 views

My friend's daughter tasted this last year on a vacation and dubbed it the "Best Pasta Ever." I'll go along with her on that! It's a healthy and colorful vegetarian pasta dish that will serve 6 generously, or make heaped platefuls for 4 ravenous diners! I started with the recipe the chef gave her, but it was just a list of ingredients with little information on amounts and exact procedures. Finally after the third go-round and many tweaks, I am pleased with this version. Any ridged or twisted pasta like rotini or fusilli will work here because the ridges hold the pesto well; plain flat or round pasta like spaghetti doesn't work well because the pesto just slides off and pools at the bottom. Use gluten-free or whole wheat pasta if desired.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $3.11 view details


  1. Cook pasta according to manufacturer directions; drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, pour all but 1 tablespoon of the oil into food processor container; add half basil leaves, cheese, nuts and salt. Pulse; add remaining basil leaves and pulse again.
  3. Stir pesto into cooked drained pasta. Add spinach and toss lightly.
  4. Heat a medium size skillet with reserved tablespoon of oil; sauté garlic in it for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir gently 30 seconds just to warm but not cook the tomatoes.
  5. Add garlic-tomato mixture to pasta, folding gently. Serve with reserved cheese for garnish as desired.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 166g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 487  
Calories from Fat 240 49%
Total Fat 27.43g 34%
Saturated Fat 5.07g 20%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 395mg 16%
Potassium 420mg 12%
Total Carbs 47.22g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3.2g 11%
Sugars 3.19g 2%
Protein 14.22g 23%



  • Frosted Flaker
    February 5, 2015
    Tried this and LOVED it. I can truly, really see why it's nicknamed best pasta ever. To describe in Italian: 'FABULOUS-O' !

    These days I'm not excited much about pasta dishes but the spinich and other ingredients really made this dish something I went back for second helpings for.

    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


    • ShaleeDP
      February 3, 2015
      Very nice dish. Thank you for sharing.

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