Giada De Laurentiis's Penne With Spinach Sauce

"This recipe goes great with the Garlic Citrus Chicken!!"
photo by Boomette photo by Boomette
photo by Boomette
photo by Jellyqueen photo by Jellyqueen
Ready In:




  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
  • Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and half of the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.
  • Meanwhile, place the remaining spinach leaves in a large bowl.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta atop the spinach leaves in the bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. zeezmom
    Just saw Giadia make this on Food Network and had to try it. Really delicious. And easy, too! I didn't use whole wheat pasta as I don't like it. I used plain ole semolina penne. Loved the goat cheese. I used Neufchatel (sp??) as my market didn't have reduced fat cream cheese. This sub was close enough. Loved the flavors and will make this again and again. I think I'll add a little nutmeg next time as I like how that goes with spinach. Thanks, Kerry, for posting the recipe.
  2. lauralie41
    Love this pasta! The whole wheat pasta added a bit of a nutty flavor that worked well with the spinach sauce. So easy to make and so very good. Thank you KerryC3 for posting. Made and reviewed for the Special Ingredient Tag Game.
  3. Boomette
    This recipe is great. But reheated, it didn't work for me. Freshly made that's yummy. I used regular penne. Thanks Kerry. Made for cookbook tag game
  4. atlfitgirl
    I am not going to leave a rating with this review since I used frozen spinach and I did not like the texture/taste of it in this recipe, since the dish is not baked after assembling. The garlic flavor was also very strong and sharp. I also have never tried whole wheat penne before, and I am not sure it was to my liking. I might try it again with regular penne and the fresh spinach when I can find it. Thanks for posting!
  5. Lauri cooks
    What a great flavor! I altered the recipe a bit using frozen spinach instead of fresh. I also added quartered cherry tomatoes and cubed chicken. Reminds us of something we ate in Italy!


Hello! I am a Single Mom to 3 teenage boys (18, 15 and 13). We live in Colorado Springs, CO. I love to bake and cook mostly Italian Food. I'm from Massachusetts. I grew up in an Italian home cooking big Sunday dinners and baking! I currently work 2 Jobs. Administrative Assistant and Hostess at a Mexican Restaurant.
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