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Roasted Garlic Pesto with a Secret Ingredient

Roasted Garlic Pesto with a Secret Ingredient.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
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  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 50 g parmesan cheese
  • 35 g pine nuts
  • Large bunch fresh basil leaves
  • handful baby spinach leaves (see notes)
  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 200ºC/180ºC Fan forced/Gas mark 6
  • Cut the top off the garlic bulb so that the garlic is exposed but each clove is still connected to the root.
  • Peel the very dry out layers of paper off the bulb of garlic.
  • Cut a large square of aluminium foil and place the garlic on it.
  • Gather up the sides and scrunch at the top.
  • Place the garlic bulb into a large muffin tin and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Place the parmesan into a food processor and whizz until well chopped. (If your food processor isn't very powerful you might want to grate the cheese by hand)
  • Add the pine nuts to the cheese and whizz again.
  • Squeeze the garlic out of the skins and add to the processor, pulse until you have something that resembles something between breadcrumbs and wet sand.
  • Push in the fresh basil leaves, spinach then pour over the olive oil.
  • Whizz the mixture until you have a thick fragrant paste.
  • Taste and add salt as required.
  • Pour your pesto into a jar and cover with a thin layer of oil to prevent the basil from discolouring.


If you don't have fresh spinach then you can make the pesto without it and then add some frozen spinach when you cook the pasta.
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