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Spaghetti with Rocket, Spinach & Pecan pesto

 In Dinner/Supper, Lunch, Pasta, Vegetarian

Spaghetti with rocket, spinach & pecan pesto

After a wonderful weekend in Cape Town celebrating my book launch, browsing food markets and eating way too much food, I came home longing for light and fresh food.

Spaghetti with rocket, spinach & pecan pesto

I decided to make this pesto by combining the contents of my fridge, if I have to be quite honest. I’ve tasted rocket pesto before and loved the peppery flavour the leaves add to a traditional pesto. I didn’t have any pine nuts but found some pecans in my pantry and then to add bulk, decided to add fresh spinach. Finished with Pecorino, garlic and lemon, this pesto turned out to be one of the most delicious I had ever tasted.

Spaghetti with rocket, spinach & pecan pesto

What I love so much about this pesto is that it doesn’t dis-colour like basil pesto does. It stays beautifully, bright green and I just adore the aroma when it hits the warm pasta. Topped with more pecorino and freshly cracked pepper, this makes for a lovely light supper or substantial lunch.

Spaghetti with rocket, spinach & pecan pesto


Spaghetti with Rocket, Spinach & Pecan pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pasta, Main, Vegetarian,
Serves: 4
for the pesto
  • 200g baby spinach, bigger stems removed
  • 50g rocket
  • 100g pecan nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
to serve
  • 500g spaghetti, cooked
  • extra Pecorino
  1. Place the spinach, rocket, pecans, garlic, lemon juice and Pecorino in a food processor and blend. (You might have to do this in two batches as the spinach tends to be quite bulky and may fill up the bowl of the food processor too much.)
  2. When the leaves are roughly choppes, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the processor is still running.
  3. Allow to blend until it forms a thick but moist pesto. Season to taste.
  4. To serve, toss the pesto with cooked spaghetti and serve with grated Pecorino.
  5. Store any left-over pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Spaghetti with rocket, spinach & pecan pesto

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Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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Showing 8 comments
  • Patrisha

    What is rocket??

  • marla

    Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post 🙂

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