Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic

Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic

Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic

Sometime it’s a real challenge getting dinner on the table at a reasonable hour (by which I mean, not just before bedtime). Between having to work and take care of a baby whose bedtime ritual falls right in the middle of the 7:00 dining hour, cooking dinner has been stretching me to my limit. Even 30-minute recipes take too long when you start cooking at 8:00p.m.

That’s why I welcome a recipe like Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic. As long as you start heating the water ahead of time, you can have this meal done and plated in 10-15 minutes. This is a good choice when you have no time to cook but can’t face scrambled eggs for dinner, particularly if you already had a heavy lunch that day and want something light.

You’ll probably recognize this classic recipe — especially if you omit the spinach and make pasta aglio e olio — but this is one of the better versions of it that I’ve had. The secret is taking a little time to saute the garlic slowly over a relatively low heat. The basic recipe will pair nicely with many different cooked vegetables other than spinach. Broccoli is a classic choice, but I imagine that green beans, artichoke hearts, zucchini and fresh tomatoes would all be excellent as well.

Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic

Yields: 2 servings
Time to make: ~15 minutes plus time to heat the pasta cooking water

What you need:

  • ½ lb. spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • coarse salt to taste
  • 1½ tbsp. parsley, minced
  • ½ tbsp. lemon juice
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • Parmesan for garnish
  1. Cook the spaghetti, reserving the pasta cooking water when draining.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the garlic and coarse salt, and saute, stirring frequently, until the garlic turns golden and starts to foam, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach to the pan and saute, stirring, until it wilts, about 1 minute.
  5. Toss the garlic-spinach mixture with the cooked spaghetti plus the additional olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes and enough reserved cooking water to help everything stick together (about 2-3 tablespoons).
  6. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan to serve.

Note: If you omit the spaghetti and just make the spinach, you’ll have a very tasty side dish.

This is my entry this week for Presto Pasta Nights, which is hosted at Vanielje Kitchen.

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42 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic

  1. pam 9 November 2008 at 7:41 pm

    That is my kind of weeknight recipe! I love pasta aglio e olio, it’s one of my favorites.

  2. Shannon 9 November 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks, Pam. It’s such a versatile recipe; I’m glad I rediscovered it.

  3. Ruth 10 November 2008 at 8:01 am

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night. …and guess what we’re having for supper 😉

  4. Mary 14 November 2008 at 9:26 am

    Pam, this looks really delicious. I’m going to try it with arugula in place of spinach – no spinach in the house and I can’t wait.

  5. Jin Hooi 15 November 2008 at 7:49 am

    quick , easy and yummy, i can’t wait to try this out !! thanks for sharing

  6. Melissa 2 December 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Sounds very easy and super delish!

  7. […] Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic ( […]

  8. […] as there are five basic plots in literature*, I believe there are five basic pasta sauces. They are garlic and oil, butter, white sauce, vegetable sauce and tomato sauce. But for each of these sauces, there are […]

  9. Joseph Ciolino 27 July 2009 at 5:08 pm

    All you really need is the spinach, garlic, olive oil and a bit of cheese. Pure. No salt, no pepper flakes, no lemon, and most of all NO PARSLEY!

  10. Shannon 28 July 2009 at 7:31 am

    Certainly feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your tastes. I’m an advocate of that. But I personally like the additional flavors.

  11. warren 17 June 2011 at 7:39 pm

    excellent in every way

  12. Anindita 8 September 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I’ve been searching this kind of recipe and finally I got here. I’ll try this recipe and hope it will be taste good! I’m going to add some diced tunas on it. 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  13. Tina 1 November 2011 at 5:42 am

    I make this for my dinner last weekend. It turn out great and it tastge good too.On top of your recipe i added a spoonful of pesto into the pasta. Anyway thanks for sharing this great recipe.


  14. tru blu sue 21 February 2012 at 10:38 am

    Recently stumbled upon this recipe and made it for my kids (11,7,3). Two out of three are picky picky and everyone ate it up! Thanks for adding another recipe to my short list of recipes all three kiddos will eat.

  15. simplysonja 29 February 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Very tasty! I added onions and made a single serving.

  16. Kate 22 March 2012 at 9:49 pm

    So good! I added soy nuts to give it a bit of a crunch. Will definitely be a staple!

  17. Clive 18 April 2012 at 4:00 pm

    you can also use nettles instead of spinach

  18. NaturalHairRocks 23 April 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Have to try this for dinner tonight. thanks

  19. Kasia 18 May 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Just tried it – it was delicious! Thank you for sharing it!

  20. Ms.Keshia 21 May 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I just stumbled across this recipe and made this in no time!!! I included the zest and juice from a whole lemon just because I love lemon. This is so simple and delicious! Thanks!!!

  21. […] for ‘spinach’ and ‘pasta’. The top result was ‘Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic’ at Simply Cooking. That’s where my search ended… I had all the required ingredients in the kitchen… and […]

  22. […] Spaghetti With Garlic and Spinach […]

  23. healthy recipes 9 June 2012 at 4:23 pm

    This is a great recipe. I tried it with spinach flavored spaghetti and I loved it.

  24. Bruna 11 June 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Yum. Thank you!

  25. Amy 12 June 2012 at 12:11 am

    Awesome recipe! Way better than I thought it was going to be. The lemon juice and red pepper flakes definitely add something!! Nom Nom Nom. Thanks!

  26. mulacs (@mulacs) 22 July 2012 at 2:59 pm

    how do you manage to ‘saute’ the garlic without it burning or turning bitter? Ten mins seems like a long time, I had mine on the lowest possible heat for way less and still managed to make it almost black. Ruined the flavour. Any tips?

  27. Smarty Letsaba 26 July 2012 at 11:57 am

    And my favorite too,thank you 🙂

  28. Smarty Letsaba 26 July 2012 at 11:59 am

    My favorite too. Thank you

  29. Anindya 2 August 2012 at 5:25 am

    yumm.. looks so yummy 🙂 i

  30. Cheryl Bailey 18 August 2012 at 4:11 am

    Super easy I too added a teaspoon of pesto and then some cashews! Delish!

  31. Shannon 18 August 2012 at 9:37 am

    That sounds really good, Cheryl.

  32. Jessica 19 September 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for this! This is really a simple, light yet tasty way to eat spinach n pasta. I popped an egg with the pasta for added protein – turns out great! Thanks again!

  33. Shannon 19 September 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Putting an egg on top improves so many dishes.

  34. virtuouswomanukblog 18 January 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for this…was running low on ingredients and needed something to eat.

  35. virtuouswomanukblog 18 January 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I was running low on ingredients and needed to make something quickly…added a few extra seasonings though…

  36. […] Denne retten inneholder flere andre favorittsmaker, som spinat, hvitløk og parmesan. Som en ekstra bonus er den også kjapp å tilberede! Originaloppskriften er her: Simply cooking […]

  37. Barb 29 June 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Wonderful. And SOOOO easy

  38. Shannon 12 September 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Thawed frozen spinach is very watery. I usually wrap it in paper towels and squeeze it to get as much water out as I can. Cooking time for the spinach will be very short, really just warm it through, so keep that in mind as well. Good luck.

  39. claudia silver 12 September 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks Shannon, I am defrosting as we speak, and will squeeze,squeeze and squeeze some more!!

  40. […] Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic […]

  41. Tia 27 December 2014 at 8:18 am

    I made this with a few extra ingredients for my family and they LOVED it! they brothers even complimented me saying that i prepared it better than the 5 star hotels where we’ve ordered it! 🙂

  42. Melissa 14 February 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this! I sautéed the red pepper flakes along with the garlic. So simple yet so delicious!

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