A hearty and healthy dish, this Low-Carb Penne with Spinach and Almond Pesto gives a twist to regular pesto. It uses spinach along with basil, and gets creaminess from cottage cheese blended into the pesto sauce. Using Great Low Carb Pasta - Penne instead of regular pasta keeps the dish low in carbs.
Great Low Carb Pasta - Penne has half the calories and only a quarter of the net carbs as in regular pasta. It has 100 calories per serving and 7 grams of net carbs, including 18 grams of fiber. It has 12 grams of protein. You can cook this pasta just as you cook regular pasta, by boiling it for up to 10 minutes.
This recipe is simple and forgiving. You can experiment with different nuts in the pesto. Traditional pesto has pine nuts and this recipe calls for almonds, but walnuts and cashews work fine, too.
If you want to increase the protein in the recipe, you can toss in cooked chicken breast when you bring all of the ingredients together at the end.
You can further lower the calories and fat by using fat-free cottage cheese and low-fat parmesan, and by cutting the amount of parmesan in half. If you prefer, ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese can keep your pesto sauce creamy.
This recipe makes a lot of pesto sauce. You can start by mixing half of it with the pasta, then adding more if you want. If you have leftovers, just store them in the fridge or freezer in an air-tight container to use on chicken or vegetables another time.
Recipe for Low-Carb Penne with Spinach and Almond Pesto
Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes