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Penne Pasta with Green Sauce

Do not let the name of this penne pasta turn you off from trying it. I can guarantee you that once you make this and try it, you won’t want to give it up. You might even eat the whole pot yourself over the next couple of days. You surely will second guess sharing with anyone else since it is THAT good.

In all honesty, I made this delicious Penne Pasta with Green Sauce one day on a whim. I had a few jarred sauces in the fridge, but they were nothing I wanted to have on my tastebuds. I’d had enough of basic red sauces, white Alfredo sauces and vodka sauce. I needed to introduce something new and different to my palate. 

Penne Pasta with Green Sauce

3 from 5 votes
Recipe by Madison Course: MainDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions

  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Directions

  • Roast red bell pepper either over an open flame on the stove or roasted in the oven on 425°F for 20 minutes. (You may also use store bought already roasted red peppers.)
  • Remove blackened part from the pepper and discard.
  • Place roasted pepper in a blender along with only 1 cup of spinach, milk, and water.
    Transfer to a medium sized saucepan on high heat. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, cream cheese, butter and flour. 
  • Stir well and bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add penne pasta into sauce along with the remaining 1 cup of spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted to your liking.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Adding extra spinach to pasta is optional.
  • If roasting the bell pepper over an open flame, be sure to turn on your above fan.

I am sure you know this by now, but I just love making sauce! I find it to be rather therapeutic and fun to play with all the different flavors. Playing around in the kitchen making sauce is also a great way to use up any ingredients in the refrigerator. So, if you ever have some ingredients that you do not want to watch go to waste, try making a signature sauce that you can keep in your dinner rotation.

I prefer to use penne pasta, but rigatoni also works just as well. Both of these pastas work really well with the sauce. Since these types of pastas have ridges, the green sauce is able to cling to and adhere to the pasta well. The flour and simmering also help to thicken up the sauce so it adheres properly to the pasta. Depending on how thick you make your sauce, you can use different types of pastas. The point is that you want the sauce to be able to cling to the pasta instead of just run off.

To make this sauce, you first want to roast the red bell pepper. I do this by slicing it in half and removing the seeds. Roasting takes only a few minutes over an open flame, but about 20 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees F. Remove the blackened skin. Next, simply blend with spinach, milk and water. Now, do not be alarmed if after blending, your mixture looks a bit frothy. Then, transfer to a saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring it to a boil and then a simmer so it can thicken up slightly more and it is ready to use.

I like to toss the cooked pasta into the green sauce. This way, I can guarantee that each piece of penne will get evenly coated in the sauce. 

It is as easy as that! Once you take a bite, you will understand why you went the extra mile to make this sauce. This recipe may seem like a lot of steps, but the wonderful thing about it is that fortunately the steps are quick such as roasting for a few minutes, blending and boiling. I hope you enjoy making this and eating it even more! 

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