Green Pasta

This is my kid’s favorite kind of pasta. It combines the goodness of healthy greens with a delicious creamy pesto sauce. It’s a great option for picky eaters as well.

Following on the growing oven baked pasta trend, we tweaked our recipe to make it in the oven as well. This allows the kids to get easily involved. We put the vegetables (frozen spinach and peas) along with ricotta cheese and bake them in the oven. We boil the pasta on the stove, then mix it into the vegetable mixture along with some pesto. Bake again in the oven shortly and your green pasta is ready.

I have also included instructions to make this pasta on a stove top.

What makes this pasta green?

The green elements involved in this pasta are spinach, green peas and green pesto. For convenience, we used frozen spinach and frozen green peas. They are available in our freezer most of the time, so I can make this pasta any time when the kids ask for it. You may replace spinach with kale and add broccoli or any other vegetable as well.

Ingredients at a glance

Frozen Spinach: We use organic shredded frozen spinach. You can buy it by the name Bio Spinat (gehackt) at well stocked grocery stores in Germany. Do not use the whole leave spinach (blattspinat) as it won’t mix well into the sauce.

Frozen Green Peas: You can find frozen green peas by the name Erbsenor Junge Erbsen in Germany. Organic/bio are the healthiest choice.

Ricotta Cheese: You can find ricotta cheese at any well stocked grocery store like Edeka, Rewe, Real etc. You can also replace it with cottage cheese (Körniger Frischkäse).

Green Pesto: We use pesto genovese (from Barilla) for our recipe. You may use any other brand as well.

Cream: We use whipping cream (Schlagsahne 30% fat) for our recipe. You may replace it with sour cream for a lighter taste.

Whole-wheat Spaghetti: We like to use whole wheat spaghetti (bio-Vollkorn Spaghetti) for a fulfilling and healthy meal. But you may replace it with regular spaghetti.

Salt and pepper: We like to use freshly crushed pepper as it adds a nice kick. Any regular salt would do.

Green Pasta

This pasta combines the goodness of some green vegetables, the flavor of pesto and the creaminess of ricotta.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 persons

Equipment

  • Oven safe dish

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups/ 300 grams frozen spinach (chopped)
  • 1 cup/ 150 gram frozen green peas
  • 1 cup/ 200 grams ricotta (substitute: cottage cheese/Frischkäse-körnig)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 250 grams whole wheat spaghetti (vollkorn)
  • 1 cup/ 200 grams cream (schlagsahne 30% fat) (substitute: sour cream)
  • 3 Tbsp green pesto (we used genovese)
  • some olive oil and parmesan/ grana padano cheese for garnishing (optional)

Instructions
 

Instructions for oven (stove top instructions below)

  • Set the oven to preheat at 200° Celsius.
  • Take a big oven safe dish and put the ricotta cheese in the middle. Add the frozen green peas and frozen spinach all around. Season with salt and pepper. Spread it so that it's evenly distributed all around.
  • Put into the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes at 200° Celsius.
  • After your vegetables have been in the oven for 10 minutes (15 minutes still left), put the water for pasta to boil. Cook your spaghetti a minute less than instructed on the packet. Drain and keep aside.
  • Take the vegetable and cheese mixture out the oven. Add the pesto and cream and mix everything until it's all well combined.
  • Add the boiled spaghetti to this mixture. Mix gently to avoid breaking the pasta.
  • Put it back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Take out from the oven. Add some olive oil mix.
  • Plate out and optionally, top with freshly grated parmesan or grana padano cheese.

Instructions for stove top:

  • Take a big pot and put water for pasta to boil. Cook your spaghetti a minute less than instructed on the packet.
  • While your spaghetti is cooking, add some olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the green peas and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes (until the spinach and peas are soft)
  • When the pasta is done drain, then add to the pan.
  • Add ricotta and pesto to the pan and mix everything well.
  • Add the cream and mix again. Turn off heat.
  • Plate out and optionally, drizzle some olive oil and top with grated parmesan/grana padano.

Notes

If your pasta comes out too dry from the oven, add a few splashes of milk or some olive oil to loosen it up.
Keyword healthy pasta, kid friendly, kids meal

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