For the pasta dish:
1 (12 oz) package fettuccine, preferably whole wheat
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced into thin crescents or half-circles
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
For the pesto:
4 cups fresh spinach, larger leaves chopped
1 cup fresh parsley
4 green onions, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
Sprig of fresh rosemary, stem removed
Sprig of fresh thyme, stem removed
¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup nuts of your choice, chopped
¼ cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Cayenne pepper and/or paprika for garnish (optional)
½- 1 cup water
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Probably a good idea to err on the side of ‘al dente’ since the pasta will be sautéed later.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are slightly browned. Add the sliced mushrooms and reduce heat to medium. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a blender or food processor, add 3 cups of the spinach along with the rest of the pesto ingredients, starting with ½ cup of water and adding more as necessary. Reserve one cup of the spinach to add whole to the final dish. Blend until smooth. Since the pesto will get sautéed with the pasta, it is ok if it seems a bit watery – the heat will thicken it up a bit.
Once the pesto is smooth, add it along with the pasta to the pan with the mushrooms and onions. Add reserved cup of spinach. Heat over low or medium-low heat, stirring until everything is well-coated and spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper if you would like something slightly spicy, or paprika if not.