Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Special equipment: Food processor
- Approx. 1 cup baby spinach, packed (push down as many leaves into the cup as you can)
- Approx. 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-5 leaves basil, chiffonade cut (I didn't have fresh, so I added a sprinkling of dried basil)
- Approx. 1/4 cup grated/shredded Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese
- Approx. 2-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste (salt is important in this sauce, because it helps elevate the flavors, which will decrease slightly when the sauce is spread throughout the pasta)
- 8-12 oz. mezze penne or other pasta of your choice (this sauce would work with just about any type of pasta)
In a food processor, combine the spinach, ricotta, garlic, basil, Parmesan/Pecorino-Romano, olive oil, salt and pepper, and pulse to blend. The mixture will blend into a thick, creamy, pale green sauce. In the meantime, bring a medium-to-large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (about 8-11 minutes). Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and toss it with the sauce. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese.
This sauce is incredibly easy to make and takes just a few minutes to blend. It's got a light flavor and creamy texture that makes it perfect on just about any pasta, and it could even work as a spread or dip. This dish in particular would be a more filling meal with the addition of seared or grilled chicken or shrimp (but, since I was solo tonight, I didn't want to bother with a protein). If you want to experiment a bit, try adding a little lemon zest to the sauce to boost the flavor, or add a pinch of dried oregano or other Italian herb.