Over 13 years ago, when hubby and I were only 18, we pooled every penny we had and headed off to Rome together as a ploy to avoid making eye contact with our parents as our A Level results came in… despite being in such a big touristy city, we are so well for such little money.
It was here that I first tried real, straight out of the mortar & pestle pesto and the verdict was bad. I’m ashamed to say that I hated it. It was too strong and too oily – and it turned my stomach.
I’ve slowly come around on the flavours, but the same things can turn me off it these days – if it’s swimming in oil or if the flavours are too basil or too garlic. For this reason I decided making to try my own.
But guess what? Fresh Pesto is damn expensive to make
80g Basil – £1.20
50g pine nuts – £1.25
150ml Olive Oil – £1.15
2 x garlic colves – 4p
…and that only makes enough for one frickin meal.
There was a day not long after one of these attempts that I saw giant bags of spinach in the yellow sticker section in Asda and I had a brain wave… spinach ‘pesto’. The recipe is quite different from pesto but its still very fresh and tasty; it’s a great alternative and makes about 3 times the amount of the recipe above.
For those on Slimming World, the Parmesan is roughly the same as two HExB’s and depending how far it goes, I find too hard to split out and just syn it.
These three (probably even more) batches costs just £2.74 in total and is totally freezable so pop s portion or two in a freezer bag and you have an easy sauce to mix into some pasta on a lazy evening.
- 360g of Spinach (2 x 180g bags)
- 2 x garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 250g Fat Free Natural Yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp salt & black pepper
- 50g Parmesan Cheese
Put 180g of the Spinach and all the garlic into a food processor and blitz with 30ml of water and a tablespoon of olive oil.
Stir and the yoghurt. Blitz again, adding the other half of the spinach in 4 or 5 batches. You may have to open the processor and squash the dry spinach into the mix every so often.
Add the parmasan and black pepper then taste to see if you need the salt.