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Under 30 Minutes

Fettuccine with Spinach Pesto

We added a twist to a classic pesto sauce by replacing the basil with spinach.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Fettuccine with Spinach Pesto

Source: Everyday Food, March 2007


  • 12 ounces fettuccine
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon grated zest plus 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; immediately drain pasta, and return to pot.

  2. While pasta is cooking, place spinach, Parmesan, nuts, garlic, and lemon zest and juice in a food processor. Process until a paste forms. With motor running, add oil and 1/4 cup cold water; process until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add to pasta; toss, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time until sauce is thinned slightly and coats fettuccine (you may not need all the water). Serve, sprinkled with additional Parmesan and nuts, if desired.

Reviews (12)

  • nmctelos 30 Nov, 2010

    Great recipe! My meat and potato boyfriend even liked this. I added some fresh parsley (stole idea from another spinach basil recipe) and used peanuts and fresh spinach. A recipe- thanks

  • murphymurphy 19 Sep, 2010

    Delicious! and easy! I used fresh spinach which I did not cook before hand. I immediately added the pesto to the hot pasta, and it was not bitter at all.

  • smallz9597 17 Jun, 2010

    I am going to make this with fresh spinach as well. I would atleast blanch the fresh spinach to get rid of some of the bitterness.

  • lwalheim 16 Jun, 2010

    I want to make this with fresh spinach as well, can you provide a conversion measurement? And would you really need to cook the spinach - seems like hot pasta would cook it. L

  • soapgal 16 Jun, 2010

    I have read where you can make pesto with asperagus as well. Wonder if you can make this recipe with fresh spinach???

  • sararain 6 Jun, 2010

    What would you serve as a side dish with this?

  • rotsol 27 Feb, 2010

    Where I live, pine nuts are CRAZY expensive so I use almonds instead - which are also a great source of calcium !

  • JLA 7 Apr, 2009

    Delicious! I didn't have pine nuts so I substituted hazel nuts and it was still delicious.

  • julie8179 6 May, 2008

    This is delicious! My current favorite stand-by pasta dish (and favorite "carb-loading" dish before a long run)! The lemon juice/zest makes the dish taste so fresh! I serve with whole wheat fettuccine...sometimes as a side, often as a main course on a busy evening.

  • terribk7 17 Mar, 2008

    I agree-caolrie andfat content are very important to me as well. Thanks Martha and Everyday Food staff!

  • bevmisty 14 Mar, 2008

    As we are becoming a health consenious nation, I would like to see the amount of calaries, fat content fibre, amounts after each reciipe

  • sisterhelen 12 Mar, 2008

    When making the spinach pesto sauce in the processor, are you saying to add a cup a water (as in the directions but not in the ingredients)?

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