Fusilli with Spinach Walnut Pesto

This brilliant green pesto is a great pick-me-up in the dead of winter.  It also allows the sly mother to add more spinach to the family diet without any children being the wiser.  It makes a quick weeknight meal with the addition of a salad and some crusty bread.  Try adding a few tablespoons of ricotta to the pasta for extra protein.

Fusilli with Spinach Walnut Pesto
Adapted from Lidia's Italy in America cookbook
Serves 6

1 lb fusilli pasta (use a gluten-free pasta for a g-free version)
4.5 oz bag spinach leaves, stems removed
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Boil and drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In the meantime,  pulse the spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic and salt in a food processor.  Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream.  Process until a smooth paste forms, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Add the pasta water and pulse again. 

In a large bowl, combine the pesto with the hot pasta and mix well.  Toss with the grated cheese and serve.