Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pasta with Pesto, Wilted Spinach and Bean Balls

Yesterday we were out of the house almost all day. At 8 pm I need to make dinner fast ….. we were starving. This is what I tossed together from what we had in the house. It became a quick and very tasty dinner.

The spinach is a very healthy ingredient that is packed with nutrition and reported to fight cancer. Basil, like many herbs, is thought to promote cancer cell suicide (Anticancer, page 123). The remaining ingredients are all healthy and add flavor.

Pasta with Pesto, Wilted Spinach and Bean Balls
Serves 2


8 ounces of whole wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced (allow to stand 10 minutes after slicing so allicin can develop)
¼ cup of basil leaves
1 pound of baby spinach, chopped
8 bean and bulgur balls


Cook pasta in 4 quarts of salted water until just done (al dente). Start testing the pasta to see if it is cooked, 2 minutes before the package directions indicate it will be done.

Puree the spinach in the food processor with a tablespoon of two of water. You want the basil to be very fine.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bean balls to the oil and cook to warm through and lightly toast all over. Add the garlic to the bean balls and quickly (about a minute) then add the spinach. Continue to cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the pureed basil and stir to mix throughout. If the sauce is dry add a ladle of pasta cooking water.

When the pasta is cooked toss it into the sauce. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 688.62
Calories From Fat (17%) - 117.37
Total Fat - 13.6g
Saturated Fat - 3.15g
Cholesterol - 11.34mg
Sodium - 570.74mg
Potassium - 1056.98mg
Total Carbohydrates - 123.19g
Fiber - 11.41g
Sugar - 6.43g
Protein - 32.26g


For a fast dinner, this is really tasty. The nutritionals were also not too bad. A few less calories would have been good, but we were starving after being out of the house most of the day. The basil and spinach was a very tasty combination. I also liked the bean balls after a quick sauté in olive oil.

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