Penne with Spinach Sauce

This past weekend one of my girlfriend’s shared this fantastic Giada de Laurentiis spinach sauce recipe for pasta. This sauce is made entirely in your food processor with spinach, garlic, goat cheese, and cream cheese. My girlfriend substitutes the cream cheese for greek yogurt – I didn’t try this alternative but it’s another way to lighten up an already healthy sauce. This Spinach Sauce is a healthy and fresh (not to mention green) alternative to a jar of marinara and filled with lots of flavor with the fresh garlic! The key to making this sauce extra creamy is reserving the pasta liquid and adding a little bit at a time while tossing the pasta and the spinach sauce together. My very skeptical hubby who loves to dump ladles of marinara sauce on his pasta was a little nervous to try this but absolutely loved it!

Penne with Spinach Sauce
Yields 4
A delicious and healthy green pasta sauce made entirely in your food processor with spinach, cream cheese, goat cheese and garlic.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
11 min
Total Time
26 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
11 min
Total Time
26 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  2. 3 garlic cloves
  3. 2 ounces goat cheese
  4. 1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese (or Greek Yogurt)
  5. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 5 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  8. 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 11 minutes.
  2. Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta into a large bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over and serve.
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
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