a savory reprieve May 2, 2010

I needed a break. A savory break. Between the cake I just posted about and the Sugar Coma tour I was taking part in Saturday, my taste buds were a little sweet-ed out. Needing a quick lunch and something that would get me through a long day, I put this dish together in about 15 minutes. It's filling but not overly so…and it's so green & (relatively) healthy. Despite the fact that it carried me over easily till dinner, I didn't get that heavy pasta gut bomb sensation. Maybe the good-for-you greenness of it psyched me out!

While I ate this as a quick main course, this would be a great side dish for any type of protein. Dress it up with garlic, other veggies, toasted walnuts or pine nuts – whatever else you have on hand. One note of caution: this pasta doesn't reheat so well without the addition of a little sauce or extra lemon juice so take that into account if you're thinking about next-day leftovers.

Spinach Mascarpone Pasta – serves 4 as a small entree or
side dish – inspired by a recipe on bbcgoodfood.com

  • 1 16 oz. box dried curly shaped pasta such as fusilli or
  • 1 6 oz. bag of pre-washed & prepped baby spinach leaves
  • 6 oz. Mascarpone cheese 
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese + 2 tbsp. for
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, for garnish
  • salt & pepper, to taste

– Start a large pot of water to boil. When the water is up to a
gently rolling boil, add pasta and cook to al dente according to the
directions on the box.

– While pasta is cooking, set up a
relatively large capacity food processor. To the processor add 3/4 of
the bag of prepared baby spinach, Mascarpone cheese, lemon juice and 6
tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Puree until smooth and
well-incorporated. Set aside.

– When pasta is cooked to desired
texture, drain and return pan to the stove and heat on low. Add pasta
back to pot and add spinach sauce. At this point, taste your pasta and
then salt & pepper to taste – keep in mind the finished dish will
get a light sprinkle of the salty Parmesan on top right before serving.
Stir in lemon zest and remaining baby spinach leaves and heat until
pasta & sauce are warmed through and the spinach is just wilted.
Divide into bowls, top with a sprinkle of chives & Parmesan cheese.
Serve immediately.


chris May 2, 2010 06:05 pm

This looks delish! And, thanks for the reheat tip! Nothing worse than being excited about a left over then…the bomb hits. :) Great seeing you yesterday!

The Teacher Cooks May 3, 2010 06:05 am

I love a quick and easy pasta. And the color is so vibrant!

Maria May 3, 2010 11:05 am

I love the bright green color. Great pasta dish.

Mbmclaughlin May 5, 2010 12:05 pm

I want to eat your blog.

Esther May 28, 2010 07:05 am

darn, this sounds good. knowing myself, I’d probably add a 2-inch piece of ginger to the sauce, regardless if it fits with the rest of the ingredients.. o.O

Naomi Mar 14, 2011 01:03 am

I tried this dish and loved it! And it tasted even better the next day to me, but I made it with large lemons so probably that is why. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

alexa Dec 7, 2012 01:12 am

Hi! I was searching recipes with mascarpone and found yours. I love pasta and different sauces with it. This recipe sounded new and unusual to me with spinach sauce, mascarpone and lemon. I can’t say it was my favorite sauce. But thanks for sharing, it was yummy :)

tracy Jan 21, 2013 06:01 pm

I had some mascarpone that I didn’t know what to do with and then found your recipe. I didn’t have chive so I threw in basil. I didn’t have a lot of mascarpone, so I added some olive oil. After it went through the food processor, it was so delicious, I didn’t cook it. Just tossed it in with warm pasta for raw spinach benefit. I will definitely make this again. My kids didn’t even realize how much spinach they were eating. Awesome. Thank you.

Aril Oct 8, 2015 06:10 am

I was so excited to try this riecpe but for some reason my brownies came out flatter and more cakey than the picture! What are your tips for fudgy brownies that are dense and moist like your picture??