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Ok, so I haven’t been able to stop making my butternut squash spaghetti to sustain my body and soul through the winter months. However, in an effort to get something green in my diet, I decided to throw a pasta recipe into my weeknight rotation that wasn’t heavy on cream… or butter… or cheese. This one-pot sensation builds up its flavor with caramelized garlic and a bright spinach and basil pesto, adding a little something green to my hibernation diet. And while I kept it vegan, I give you my blessing to make this recipe yours, whether that be with cheese, nutritional yeast or whatever random leftovers you have in your fridge. Truthfully, all you need is a wide skillet or braiser, 1 pound of spaghetti and 5 cups of water to achieve one-pot pasta perfection. The trick is to stay close by to keep stirring the pasta, which prevents the noodles from sticking and ensures a silky creamy sauce. The whole recipe comes together in 30 minutes and you won’t feel bad even if you end up having a second helping… or, if you’re anything like me, a third.
In a food processor, combine spinach, basil, walnuts, 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and zest and ¼ cup water, then puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
In a high-sided skillet or wide braiser, heat remaining olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta, 5 cups water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pasta is al dente and the water has reduced into a thick sauce, 13-15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach pesto. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve.