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Pasta with Spinach-Basil Sauce


This is a tasty twist on classic pasta with pesto sauce.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, September 2004


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, minced
  • 1 pound spinach, stemmed and washed
  • 1 bunch basil, stemmed (4 to 5 cups lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds fettuccine


  1. In small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, submerge spinach and basil in a large pot of simmering salted water; drain immediately. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible; transfer spinach and basil to a food processor.

  3. Add shallots, ricotta, Parmesan, and nutmeg; season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth.

  4. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with spinach sauce; thin with pasta water, as needed. Serve with extra grated Parmesan, if desired.

Cook's Notes

To freeze the sauce, cool completely before transferring to storage containers. Freeze up to 3 months. To cook: Defrost sauce overnight in refrigerator (or use the microwave); reheat over medium-low heat. Cook pasta.

Reviews Add a comment

  • ellenlouise3
    21 JUL, 2008
    I made this dish for dinner tonight. The spinach in the sauce is great way to stretch conventail pesto and add nutrients. I served the pasta cold and added Moroccan olives and fresh cherry tomatoes. It was a delicious summer meal.
  • MS10779880
    28 JUN, 2008
    How about some comments about the TASTE? Has anyone actually tried this recipe????
  • Susan_Seigerman
    26 JUN, 2008
    I agree. How about making it even healthier by using whole wheat pasta and part-skim ricotta?
  • ztreeters
    24 JUN, 2008
    The calories calculator is a great idea. I hope M.S. reads these postings.
  • 1Eileen
    24 JUN, 2008
    Would love to know the calories in these recipes. It would save time trying to calculate on my own, and would be greatly be appreciated!