Sauteed Spinach Spaghetti (aka Spinachgetti)

January 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm Leave a comment

One of my ninth-grade students’ vocabulary words last week was “affinity.” I told them that I have an affinity for spinach, which they found baffling, naturally. Many of them wrote sentences and stories to the effect of “I have an affinity for chocolate,” but one student wrote, “My teacher has an affinity for spinach. She probably eats it every day.” This is actually pretty true. Spinach is such an easy vegetable to cook and add to other dishes, so I eat it all the time.

Recently, I bought a whole pound of baby spinach, because the store didn’t have any smaller containers. Determined to use it all up, I remembered that in college, my roommate and I used to make a sauteed-spinach-pasta recipe that a professor of our posted on Facebook. It involved spinach, olive oil, bowtie pasta, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and Parmesan Reggiano cheese. I could not remember this recipe, and I did not have any lemons on hand, so I made this up instead.  It’s definitely a keeper – very easy and filling, but way more interesting than spaghetti with a jar of tomato sauce. It reminds me of being a little kid and eating plain noodles with grated Parmesan, with a little boost of vegetables.

I didn’t use the whole container of spinach, so I could have some left over for other recipes. We added some fresh mozzarella cubes one time, but I don’t think it’s needed – it was a way to use the cheese before it went bad. You could probably add chopped tomatoes or sauteed onions, too.

My boyfriend and I have been calling this “spinachgetti” because we are long on portmanteau and short on dignity when it’s just the two of us, but I will probably refer to it as “sauteed spinach spaghetti” in polite company.

Also: We just got a garlic press, and it is LIFE-CHANGING. I had been hesitant to spend money on such a one-trick item, but I can’t even tell you how much time and effort it saves. If you’re as lazy as me, it’s totally worth the investment to not spend time chopping garlic and washing a cutting board.



– 1/2 to 3/4 pound baby spinach
– 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
– 4-5 cloves garlic
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– Grated Parmesan cheese (I don’t measure it, but I think 1/4 to 1/2 cup is plenty?)
– salt and pepper to taste


– pot for cooking spaghetti (and water, obvs)
– colander
– pan for sauteeing spinach
– spatula for cooking spinach
– garlic press, OR knife and cutting board
– tongs for tossing pasta (BF showed me that using tongs to toss spaghetti with sauce or other ingredients makes it 100x easier and faster. Just use the tongs to grab the pasta at the bottom/middle of the pot, and pull it to the top. Repeat till it’s evenly distributed. This also makes serving long noodles super easy.)


1. Bring water to a boil in pasta pot. Salt and cook spaghetti according to directions.

2. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in pan over low to medium heat, and chop/press your garlic.

3. Add chopped/pressed garlic to the olive oil, and let it cook for a minute or so.

3. Add big handfuls of spinach to the olive oil, until it is all wilted. Cook till it’s pretty stringy and dark (according to your preference, but I find that the more I cook it, the easier it is to shred and distribute with the pasta). Remove from heat when it’s fully cooked.

4. When pasta is done, drain in colander and return to pot. Pour spinach/garlic/oil mixture over spaghetti and toss with tongs so it’s all mixed. (You may want to shred the clumps of spinach up so it’s more even.)

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add Parmesan, toss, and serve!


Entry filed under: cheese, pasta, recipes, spinach, Uncategorized, vegetarian.

Simple Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella Fauxsagna

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This is a cooking blog by someone who is not particularly good at cooking. I'm a lazy person who aspires to make simple, awesome, healthy food at home.


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