½ kg pasta
4 cups chopped palak (spinach)
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one large lemon
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
120 gm mozzarella cheese
Boil salted water, add the pasta and cook until it is tender. Drain in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto. Rinse spinach leaves and chop roughly (not finely). Drain excess water.
Blend the chopped spinach in a food processor together with the olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Purée the mixture until smooth. Add more oil if needed to make the mixture into a thick, smooth sauce. Taste the pesto and adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your liking. Set the pesto sauce aside.
Once the pasta is drained and cooled, add about half of the pesto sauce and mix well.
Dice the mozzarella into small cubes; add it to the pasta together with 1 tbsp of the lemon zest. Stir well. Add more pesto until everything is coated with a thick layer. Top with more freshly cracked pepper and serve, or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Like all nuts, walnuts contain beneficial fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They are also a valuable vegetarian source of the essential fatty acid omega-3. Walnuts are rich in iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamins E and B.