Spinach Yogurt Pesto Pasta with Sausages

One of my dearest food blogging girlfriends, Jessica of My Baking Heart, is throwing a Virtual Cooking Party hosted by Stonyfield. She gathered 6 of her foodie girlfriends including myself to cook up a tasty dish using Stonyfield yogurt. I was happy to oblige because yogurt is one food group that we constantly eat everyday at our house.

My children love yogurt with a capital Y! We sometimes eat plain yogurt with a spoonful of jelly, or I bake it with my favorite baked cranberry & apple oatmeal, use it to bake a batch of naan or sometimes as a garnish on top of my soups. Stonyfield is a great company that not only does their best to protect kids from pesticides but are also passionate about the importance of not using GMOs. They are obsessively organic and purely delicious which is important for feeding my two little foodies and myself. Visit Stonyfield.com for more information.

This easy to prepare weeknight dinner was made in less than 30 minutes, which is a time+life saver with two kids. I served my Spinach Yogurt pesto pasta with chicken sausages, which you can substitute for other sausages that you prefer. It was a great change on the typical pesto because the spinach adds iron and calcium and the Greek yogurt makes this pasta rich and creamy without too much fat. This is one big bowl of pasta made for my big appetite without the I-need-to-stick-to-my-diet-guilt.

Please make sure to check the full round-up at My Baking Heart, and please make sure to enter the giveaway for a case of Stonyfield and a Stonyfield cookbook, too!

Spinach Yogurt Pesto Pasta with Sausages
Adapted from Stonyfield

Yield: 4 servings Ingredients

  • For the pesto
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated finely
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound rotini or other short, curly pasta
  • 4 chicken sausages links baked and sliced thinly
  • dash of sriracha sauce (any hot sauce will work)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated finely for garnishment

Cooking Directions

  1. For the Spinach Yogurt Pesto: Combine garlic, spinach, basil, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest in the bowl of your food processor or a blender. Process until finely blended, make sure to scrape down the bowl as needed. With the motor running on low, slowly add the extra-virgin olive oil in a steady stream. Add the yogurt and parmigiano reggiano into the bowl and pulse quickly 3 or 4 times to combine the pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a covered container and place in refrigerator until ready to use. Pesto can be prepared up to 3 days until ready to use.
  2. When ready to prepare the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and prepare pasta according to the directions on the box.
  3. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta and return to pot, tossing with the yogurt pesto and a dash or more of your desired hot sauce. If pasta looks too dry, add reserved cooking liquid, using 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the pasta. Add in the sliced chicken sausages and mix together. Garnish with parmigiano reggiano, diced tomatoes and basil leaves.
  4. Serve immediately.

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