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You can find all types of interesting shapes of dried pasta in your local supermarket today. Casarecce is one of my favorites. It's great with lighter, fresh sauces, and often served with pesto in Italy.

This is my favorite take on pesto. Especially in the winter when I don't have fresh basil growing in my patio garden. I use baby spinach and Macadamia nuts. The Macadamias give the sauce a creamier consistency.

This recipe makes two main dish servings or four to six side dish servings. It is great hot or cold. You can add chicken or shrimp for a hot main dish. I like to serve it warm as a side dish with pork chops or chicken.

Leftovers are great cold the next day. You can even mix in canned tuna
for a nice lunch.

Oh, and the best part for those of you who don't really like to cook or are short on time, the only thing you are cooking is the pasta. Of course, use any pasta that you like.


2 1/2 cups tightly packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup roasted (sea salted) Macadamia nuts
2 half cloves garlic
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese (freshly grated works best but store bought is okay in a pinch)
Pinch or two of fine texture sea salt, more or less to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste
6 ounces Casarecce pasta, cooked per package directions


Place spinach, nuts and garlic into a food processor. Turn processor on automatic mode. Once the spinach and nuts begin to combine, slowly drizzle in half of the olive oil.

Remove the pesto mixture from the food processor and transfer into a bowl. Stir in the rest of the oil, add the cheese, salt and pepper.

Stir pesto well and toss desired amount with cooked pasta.

Enjoy and I'll see you soon.

casarecce with spinach & macadamia nut pesto
Sappy Holidays, the brazillian pepper
Casarecce with spinich and macadamia nut pesto
Clermont resident Mary Kay LaBrie is a professional development specialist by day, a food blogger and aspiring comedy writer. She and her husband, Dan, are active in the community and recently became members of Real Life Church.

Mary Kay and Dan won or placed in several amateur cooking contests, and both have had recipes published in national cooking magazines and

You can find more of Mary Kay's recipes on her food blog, MK's Fabulous Food Adventures.


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