Turn fresh spinach and garlic scapes into a super simple green sauce for pasta. It is so quick and easy that boiling the water is the longest part!
Using fresh veggies and a little pasta is a great way to get a nutritious meal on the table quickly. This simple recipe makes a fabulous pesto style sauce out of fresh spinach and garlic scapes. The result is bright, garlicky and ready in almost no time at all. Serve it as is for a great meatless meal or add chicken or shrimp to make it even more hearty.
I love it when we get produce in our CSA boxes that is slightly outside the norm. Garlic scapes are not something I have a ton of experience with, so it is extra fun experimenting when we get them.
Last year I roasted some along with fresh radishes. They got kind of crispy and super delicious.
This time I was inspired by a recipe that was shared in the newsletter highlighting the week’s produce. It was for a pesto style sauce made from spinach and the scapes.
I altered the recipe a bit to match our taste preferences and we were delighted with the results. So I thought I would share the recipe here so you can try it too… plus this way I can make it again next year!
Tools for making the sauce
This is a perfect time to pull out that food processor! It makes short work of chopping the greens and making the sauce.
Also, if you don’t have a salad spinner now is the time to get one. It is by far the mik ost efficient way to wash your greens and get all of the water back out.
Otherwise you just need a big pot for boiling pasta and a strainer. It really is that easy!
Buzz the sauce up
The sauce comes together so quickly you can literally do it while the pasta boils! Just wash your produce and set up you food processor and you’re half way there.
Don’t worry too much if you have a little more or not quite enough of something. This is very forgiving.
Toss the spinach and scapes into the food processor and pulse it a few times to give it a rough chop.
Toss in the other ingredients and let’er rip until you have a relatively smooth texture. Add salt and pepper to your taste and you are in business!
Now twiddle your thumbs while you wait for the pasta. Pride for a job well done is very much encouraged at this stage.
Dip a mug of pasta water out before you drain the pot. Then toss the pasta in you fresh sauce, adding a little pasta water as needed to thin it out.
It really is just that easy! Serve with a smattering of Parmesan cheese and some chicken or shrimp if desired.
More easy pasta recipes
If you haven’t tried my no boil pasta bake yet, you should. It is a dump and bake recipe that makes filling you family’s belly quite simple.
Sausage, chard and pasta make another great fresh spring green pairing. That recipe has a creamy sauce that pulls it all together.
If you want something chilled in this hot weather, try my blt pasta salad. I load it with spinach and goodies. It’s a great summer side dish but it’s hearty enough to be a meal as well.
- 1 pound dry pasta
- 3-4 cups packed spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper
- Bring a pot of salty water to a boil and put the pasta in to cook to al dente according to the package directions.
- While the water comes to a boil, wash and dry your spinach and scapes.
- Toss them in your food processor and pulse it a few times to roughly chop them.
- Add the cheese, oil and butter, process until it forms a mostly smooth paste.
- When the pasta is done, dip out a mug of pasta water before draining.
- Return the pasta to the pot. Over low heat, toss the pasta with the sauce. Add a little pasta water if necessary to get the desired consistency. Heat just enough to warm the sauce.
- Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and chicken or shrimp if desired.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 366Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 8gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.