Garlic in the food processor can equal bitter! If you mince the garlic first and add it at the end it won't get bitter. It took me years to find that out...thought I might have to go back to making pesto with a mortar and pestle but I think Giada shared that little gem one day and changed my life ;)
My husband loved this dish, but I found it to be a little on the bitter side. Tried to remedy by adding more Parmesan which helped. Also threw some roasted cherry tomatoes on top. It had a beautiful bright green color.
This came out great, and I was pleased that it didn't taste too "spinachy." Great way to sneak spinach into your family's diet. I didn't have 10 cups spinach, more like 9, so I should have reduced the oil, but it was fine. I didn't have lemon zest, so I added a scant teaspoon of lemon juice for acidity, along with the parmesan at the end. I used 3 cloves garlic because I love garlic. Everybody LOVED this and thought it was just different enough from basil/pine nut pesto.
I altered this a LOT and it came out really good. I usually alter Real Simple recipes though. I have yet to find one that works well as written. I used 3 large cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts instead of walnuts, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 tsp each of dried basil and oregano, 1/4 cup of half and half, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. I also added sauteed mushrooms when I mixed it with the pasta and left out the lemon. Oh, and I only used 5 handfuls of spinach instead of 10 cups. I found it difficult to pack spinach into cups, but I think 10 cups would have been too much.
I used less spinach they this recipe called for and it still came out much too green, more then the photo too. Great for St Patrick's Day! Was kind of boring so I added Alfredo sauce to it so I didn't have to throw it out all together. Also threw some shrimp in. I would not make this recipe again.