Pasta in green sauce

Pasta in Green Sauce

Intrigued? Green Sauce could mean a whole lot of different things couldn’t it?

Today friends, right here, Pasta in Green Sauce means saucy, rich, creamy pasta made with garlic butter, lemon, pine nuts and lots of parmesan. It’s heaven. But what the heck makes it green?

Lemon Spinach Capellini

Self-Indulgent foodie Chatter

Forgive the suspense friends, but I’m a little nervous that you’re going to think this recipe is kind of weird. Stay with me…

What makes this pasta green is a whole bunch of baby spinach blended up with salty, starchy pasta water. But why? You might ask. To that I say, which should come as no surprise to you if you’ve spent anytime at all in The Pypers Kitchen, because it tastes amazing!! Side benefit is because it gets a whole blender full of spinach into the rest of the Pypers in the house and nobody is the wiser. Plus, who could resist a creamy green pasta sauce loaded with garlic butter and cheese?

When the foodies and the picky eaters are all happy my work is done.

pasta in green sauce, the details…

15 minutes is not a phony sales pitch here. That’s really all it takes to make this.

First, get your water boiling and salt it well. The starchy pasta water is going to be an important part of the sauce, so make sure it’s seasoned well. Not sure how much is enough? Taste it. Does it taste like the ocean? Pefect (also, please don’t drink too much ocean). When it’s right, add in your pasta and get it cooking. Take all your spinach and dump it into your blender but don’t blend yet.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large skillet and add in the garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Let them cook for a few minutes.

As soon as the pasta is almost done scoop out some of the pasta water and pour it into the blender with the spinach, then blend until completely smooth. Pour this mixture into the butter and scoop the pasta into the sauce as well (I don’t drain it first… a little extra pasta water is just fine… pasta water is liquid gold in your sauces – read this).

Toss to combine with the pasta and let it all bubble away for a few minutes. Add in the parmesan cheese and mix well. Lastly, serve the pasta with some buttery toasted pine nuts, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, freshly cracked black pepper and more parmesan.

Pasta in green sauce

Ingredients, Substitutions, Tips, etc.

Spinach – fresh baby spinach is what I usually use to make this because of it’s mild flavour. You can experiment with other greens though… kale, arugula, chard… you can even toss in some fresh herbs if you like.

Pine Nuts – yes I am aware that sometimes purchasing pine nuts can require taking out a second mortgage, but lately I’ve been able to find them at Costco for a reasonable price and therefore have been using them in everything. Feel free to sub in something else, preferably a softer nut… chopped walnuts or pistachios would work.

Parmesan Cheese – you can definitely play with the cheese here. Try feta, goat or asiago!

Lemon Spinach Capellini

Looking for more delicious pasta recipes? Try these…

Pasta in green sauce
Pasta in green sauce

Pasta in Green Sauce

This 15 minute creamy spinach pasta is packed with green goodness and incredibly delicious. Made with baby spinach, garlic, butter, lemon and parmesan, it is elegant enough for entertaining but easy enough for a quick weeknight dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 lb capellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • zest of one lemon
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts toasted


  • Start cooking the pasta in well salted boiling water. Just before you drain, reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the water.
  • Add the spinach and the hot pasta water to a blender and blend.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet.
  • Add in the garlic cloves, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes
  • Add in the blended spinach and the pasta. Toss well.
  • Add in the cheese, season with S&P and mix well.
  • Top with pine nuts, more parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.
Keyword Pasta in Green Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Let me know what you think below and if you like this Pasta in Green Sauce Recipe, please go try my Chicken Spinach Wrap Recipe – in case you have some extra spinach to use up.

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