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4.75 from 16 votes

Pasta Verde

A spring dish that is loaded with delicious greens. The asparagus is roasted for optimum flavor and the leeks and spinach is quickly sautéd. A little cheese for some additional flavor makes this pasta dish a fantastic welcome to spring. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: vegetable side
Cuisine: American-Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 770kcal
Author: Marisa Franca at All Our Way


  • 16 oz. dry penne pasta
  • 16 oz. asparagus washed and trimmed
  • 4 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups sliced leeks
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 10 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 oz. crumbled ricotta Salata about ½ cup


  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • For the pasta cook penne in boiling water per package direction; drain.
  • Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt, then season with pepper and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with vegetable spray. Roast asparagus until fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Sweat leeks and garlic in 2 teaspoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat until leeks begin to soften. Stir in spinach and cook to slightly wilt. Stir in penne. Set aside.
  • For the vinaigrette, whisk together 6 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, mint, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add ricotta Salata and stir just to combine, then season with pepper. Toss Vinaigrette with pasta mixture to coat. The vinaigrette can be prepared ahead of time so that you can immediately add it to the pasta mixture.


  • Sand and dirt often settle in the layers of leeks. The best way I've found to clean them is to half the leeks lengthwise and rinse the leeks under cold running water until they are clean, then I slice them.


Serving: 8g | Calories: 770kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 1044mg | Potassium: 1056mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 8545IU | Vitamin C: 44.3mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 7.3mg