Creamy Spinach Pasta

Creamy spinach pasta

Molly Watson

Ratings (8)
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
478 Calories
20g Fat
59g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 478
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 652mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 21%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 18g
Calcium 340mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This creamy spinach pasta is just a wee bit indulgent, with its splash of cream and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in each serving, but it's also chock-full of spinach ( or chard if you're feeling fancy) to keep you eating plenty of veggies.

Use a whole grain pasta for even an even more healthful dinner. In any case, it's an easy one-dish dinner that can be served as traditional pasta or made ahead and baked as a casserole, creating a crispy, browned, irresistible crust.

Note: For a quicker cooking time, but more dishes, start cooking the garlic and the greens in a pan while the pasta boils in a separate pot.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches spinach (or Swiss chard, or a 10-ounce bag of spinach leaves)
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 8 ounces fusilli, corkscrew, or rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg  (freshly grated)
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan (or other hard grating cheese, freshly shredded, plus more to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. If baking as a casserole, preheat an oven to 375 F. In any case, bring about 2 quarts of water to boil in a pot over high heat.

  2. Meanwhile, rinse and trim the spinach or rinse and prep the chard. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Butter an 8-by-8 baking dish if you're making the casserole version.

  3. Add salt to the boiling water (enough so it tastes a bit salty) and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is tender to the bite. Drain the pasta. Set the pasta aside and return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat.

  4. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pot, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach or chard and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until the spinach or chard starts to wilt, cover, and cook until completely wilted, about 2 minutes for spinach and 5 minutes for chard.

  5. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook to blend flavors, about 2 minutes.

  6. Add the nutmeg and black pepper, if you like. Add the pasta and stir to combine thoroughly. The greens will want to stick together, so you will need to break them up a bit if you want them evenly distributed in the pasta. Cover and cook so the pasta can soak up some of the juices, about 2 minutes.

  7. Stir in half of the cheese. Either serve as-is in pasta bowls topped with the rest of the cheese or transfer the pasta mixture to the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbling and starting to brown on top, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Tips

Make ahead of time. Do everything but pop it in the oven. Cook the pasta and the sauce, mix, put in the baking dish, add the cheese, cover, and chill for up to 2 days before baking. Add a few minutes on the baking time if it goes in the oven cold.

Double up: Double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 inch pan to feed 8 people in one easy go.