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Spinach & Pesto Penne

My son went through a phase where he wasn’t a big fan of green foods, so I was pleasantly surprised by how well he ate this pasta.

It’s a very simple dish, but it packs a lot of flavor with the basil, Parmesan cheese and capers.

If you don’t like capers, make sure you season well with salt and pepper, since this dish gets most of its saltiness from the capers.

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This recipe makes a lot, so it’s a great option for a potluck or large family gathering. In our case, we just had a lot of leftovers for the next few days.

Basil and spinach are two great ways to add nutritional value to any dish.

Fresh basil is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits, while spinach is a great source of iron and Vitamins K and A. They pack a huge nutritional punch without adding a lot of calories.

Spinach & Pesto Penne

Spinach & Pesto Penne

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes



  • 1 c. packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pesto sauce, see above
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. capers, drained
  • 16 oz. penne noodles
  • 12-18 oz. baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. The pesto should resemble a paste. Stir in cheese.
  4. In a 3 qt. pot, cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  5. About 1 minute before the noodles are done, stir in spinach.
  6. Cook for 1 minutes and drain.
  7. In a large bowl, combine garlic, pesto, oil and capers.
  8. Toss in pasta and spinach until it is well coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve warm, topped with Parmesan cheese.


Adapted from The Six O'Clock Scramble

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 Servings
Amount Per ServingCalories 604Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 7mgSodium 1235mgCarbohydrates 63gFiber 24gSugar 5gProtein 38g

Did you make this recipe?

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This recipe was borrowed and slightly altered from Six O’Clock Scramble.


Saturday 23rd of June 2012

This is something I need to make for looks so good.. My hubby will love this... Thanks for sharing at the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY Carri

The Not So Modern Housewife

Monday 25th of June 2012

Thanks. We really enjoyed it. I think next time I'll add some grilled chicken. Thanks for stopping by. I'll go check out your blog.

Full Circle Creations

Wednesday 20th of June 2012

I love this! It looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party! Holly

The Not So Modern Housewife

Thursday 21st of June 2012

I'm glad you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.

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