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an overhead shot of fettuccini pasta coated in green spaghetti sauce in the center of a shallow white bowl topped with parmesan and toasted almond slivers

Green Spaghetti Sauce (Pasta Verde)

Rebecca Eisenberg
This spinach-and-ricotta sauce gets the name "green spaghetti sauce" because, well, that's what it looks like. It's a riff on a Pasta Verde recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook. A silky green sauce packed with lots of spinach, fresh herbs, cheese, and the best part is it only takes a few minutes to make!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 cups raw spinach
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (1 cup)
  • juice from ½ a lemon (2 tsp)
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil flakes
  • ½ cup fresh parsley (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon whole nutmeg (freshly grated, always!)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano (freshly grated)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds (toasted)

Instructions
 

  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil in on the stove and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, sauté onions and garlic in oil over medium-low heat until onions are translucent.
  • Rinse and dry spinach in a colander or salad spinner, tear into large pieces, and add it, still damp, to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and allow spinach to wilt (this only takes a few minutes). 
  • When spinach is wilted, but still very bright green, use a blender to puree the sautéd spinach, onions, and garlic with the rest of the sauce ingredients (except for the Pecorino Romano and almonds) until very smooth.
  • Add the Pecorino Romano and blend again until combined.
  • In a dry skillet on medium heat, toast almonds, stirring frequently until lightly browned and aromatic (alternately: toast them on a sheet pan in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally). Remove from skillet to a small bowl.
  • To serve, toss hot pasta and sauce in a large bowl OR serve ladled over hot pasta.
    Top with more grated Pecorino Romano and lots of crunchy toasted almonds.

RECIPE NOTES

  • If you’re really craving protein, pick one with some salt, like ground hot Italian sausage, bacon, or pancetta. Just cook the meat in a separate pan (or use the one you used to wilt the spinach) and add it to the pasta before you cover it in sauce. 
  • If you make enough for leftovers, the best way to reheat the sauce is in a double boiler (to avoid curdling), or by tossing it with hot pasta and letting the pasta heat up the sauce. You could also serve it cold on crackers or on bread, tbh (maybe in a grilled cheese of some sort?).
  • It’s best to hand-wash your blender/food processor/any bowls you use to make this, because the green sauce is pretty stubborn. Even after a thorough trip through the dishwasher, you’ll find flecks of spinach on all your other plates. 
  • Adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook.

YOUR NOTES

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me how it was!