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Fettuccine with Spinach Pesto


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

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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 Add a comment

  • 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
  • MS10164123
    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.
  • MS12439844
    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!