green goddess pasta

by jenna on June 9, 2011

No, this has nothing to do with the salad dressing.Β  To be honest, I don’t even really like that stuff.

When I was a little kid, fettuccine alfredo was my absolute favorite dinner.

My mom, however, was always a very healthy cook so whenever we would go out to an Italian or Pizza place, that was when I ordered my cherished alfredo sauce. Still to this day, there’s really nothing as comforting to me as the creamy buttery sauce, delicately coating a bed of hot noodles.

You know what I don’t like though? Feeling comatose after eating a huge bowl of fettuccine alfredo at an Italian diner. And while I love to wear my sweatpants, I don’t love having to wear my sweatpants (read: elastic waist or bust).

So I created this lightened up version of my favorite meal that fills me up without weighing down. It still has pretty much the same ingredients of a classic cream sauce, but you just use less of them….(read: it’s all about portion size)

Vegan whole grain spinach fettuccine (found in the specialty pastas at Whole Foods), a touch of organic cream and butter, farm fresh peas for protein, dry Jack cheese, and a pinch of lemon juice, sea salt and hot pepper flakes.

Done and done.

This pea would be proud!

I love making this dinner for myself when Adam is working late and it’s just me, my bottle of lime mineral water and three episodes of Private Practice ahead of me.

The sauce is deliciously creamy and rich but not pant-popping material.

Cause as much as I love my old college sweatpants, I think I love my skinny jeans more.

Green Goddess Pasta

serves 1

Print this recipe!


2 oz fresh or dry spinach fettuccine (I used a vegan whole grain fresh kind from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup fresh shelled peas

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 T cream

1/2 T butter

pinch of salt

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup grated dry Jack cheese


Cook pasta in boiling salted water. If using fresh pasta, this will only take about 30 seconds–don’t overcook! Drain and reserve 1/4th cup of pasta water. Set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, cook the shelled peas in another pot filled with boiling water. Simmer peas for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

In the same pot, melt the butter and whisk in the lemon juice. Add the cream, salt, red pepper flakes and cheese and stir over low/medium heat until slightly thickened. Pour over cooked pasta, add peas and a little reserved pasta water if it seems dry.Β  Finish with a grind of black pepper.


30 minutes


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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Heather's Dish) June 9, 2011 at 4:47 am

i absolutely love spinach linguine…the color, the texture, the flavor…it’s all perfect! This sounds amazing Jenna, perfect for a quick summer dinner!


Molly @ RDexposed June 9, 2011 at 4:51 am

I cannot cook pasta to save my life. I have a Sicilian in my life to cover all pasta dishes and never regret a single bite! I’ll show him this recipe for some inspiration!


Faith @ lovelyascharged June 9, 2011 at 4:59 am

I’m the same way with rice – can’t do it if there was a gun to my head!


jenna June 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

Just so y’all know—I can’t cook rice to save my life either! Why do you think I keep making quinoa all the time?!


MMiller June 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

LOL Jenna! I can’t seem to cook Quinoa! It always seems to have a funny taste! Rice i can handle! (my next attempt will be Sushi rice!


Sahar June 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

bahaha I don’t know what I would do without Trader Joe’s microwaveable 3-minute rice πŸ™‚


Mylynka June 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Two words: Rice. Cooker.

It makes great quinoa, too!


Caroline @ chocolate and carrots June 9, 2011 at 4:55 am

Looks amazing! I love all things green. This just seems like the perfect summer meal. Hello dinner! πŸ™‚


jenna June 9, 2011 at 5:00 am

i love fresh pasta! and this looks amazing! i can’t wait to get to whole foods and pick up some!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 9, 2011 at 5:02 am

Your pasta looks great and the peas are so VIBRANT and green! I love that!

The picture of the peapod on the wood cutting board..such a pretty contrast, great photography.

And great recipe, of course πŸ™‚


Blog is the New Black June 9, 2011 at 5:03 am

Looks delicious and simple! LOVE!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 9, 2011 at 5:06 am

This sounds so refreshing – and I never say that about pasta!! I love the photos of the peas. Definitely another one to bookmark!


Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 9, 2011 at 5:07 am

This recipe would be perfect for a summer cookout. And those shots (with the green pasta and green peas) are gorgeous!


Baking 'n' Books June 9, 2011 at 5:13 am

Adam doesn’t like pasta? And yes we know about your jeans…



Em June 9, 2011 at 5:19 am

Tasty and simple. I should keep my eyes peeled for fresh pasta more often.
Those peas look delicious.
I’m excited to see what I’ll discover on Saturday at the local farmer’s market.


Brooke @ Bittersweetb June 9, 2011 at 5:26 am

I’m a total sucker for pasta, and this looks awesome. And I totally vote sweatpants over skinny jeans at this juncture in my life haha!!!


amy walters, aDESIGNdock June 9, 2011 at 5:27 am

Love the recipe πŸ˜‰


Lia {sprightly} June 9, 2011 at 5:32 am

I looove the ingredients written out on the chalkboard, and your photos are looking really beautiful! The pasta looks delicious.


Ellie June 9, 2011 at 5:41 am

I am so happy to see you returning to “healthy” foods. Cakes and cupcakes are really fun, but this is really real! Thanks so much for the inspirations


megan @ whatmegansmaking June 9, 2011 at 5:46 am

looks delicious! I’d leave out the peas, but other than that, this is my kind of meal πŸ™‚


jane June 9, 2011 at 5:50 am

wow-that looks amazing. great job. can you give us a little more info on the book you are writing?!


jenna June 9, 2011 at 8:08 am

It’s a memoir about my time in culinary school, studying abroad in France and working at a bakery a couple years ago. It has about 50 recipes scattered throughout and will be at bookstores in about a year!


Holly @ The Runny Egg June 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

I’m glad this has nothing to do with GG Dressing — I do not like the taste of that at all.

The pasta and peas look so cute together — I love the green!


Andee June 9, 2011 at 5:55 am

I live in very rural Kansas where the grocery store is 8 miles away and not much for options. Do you have a recommendation for substituting the dry Jack cheese with something more common? Also, does whole wheat fettuccine work as well as the spinach version, or should I add some spinach to the recipe? Thanks!


jenna June 9, 2011 at 8:07 am

Try Parmesan cheese instead :). You can use whatever type of pasta you like!


Dee June 9, 2011 at 6:02 am

You are my hero. Thank you for thinking of this. I haven’t had alfredo (even if it’s my favorite) in so long because of the whole stuffed feeling. Ok, ok and the added pounds. Do you think I could substitute spaghetti squash instead of pasta? Why not, right?


Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 9, 2011 at 6:08 am

This looks delicious, I love fresh peas this time of year!


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 9, 2011 at 6:15 am

I love how green and simple this is. Looks like a great weeknight dinner.


kristina@beancakes June 9, 2011 at 6:25 am

oh weird, i don’t care for the green goddess dressing either ~ i thought it was just me! this looks amazing ~ and i love the name!
xo ~ kristina@beancakes


Jen June 9, 2011 at 6:33 am

Who DOESN’T love alfredo? I think it’s one of the most favored pasta sauces around. The first time I ever cooked for my boyfriend, he requested chicken fettuccine alfredo. The classic thick and creamy sauce is good once in a while, but this green goddess pasta is something I could eat every week. Plus, I love peas!


mary (sisters running the kitchen) June 9, 2011 at 6:42 am

When my sisters and I were little my mom would always make fettuccine alfredo with spinach linguine! I love your lightened up version. I always enjoyed my fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and sometimes chicken…love the combination of those flavors. Red Pepper Flakes and lemon sound amazing in this dish..can’t wait to try!


Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray June 9, 2011 at 6:50 am

Mary, I totally agree–I would love to add broccoli to this as well!

I am a huge fan of taking the guilt out of pasta dishes. This one looks so summery and fresh and mmm. πŸ™‚


French Heart June 9, 2011 at 6:45 am

OMG–on my way today to Whole Foods anyway…going to make this. Thanks! I love green kinds of pasta too. Kind of a Free Pass from guilt-fairy sitting on your shoulder ‘Are you really going to eat that.’ Yup, sister woman, I am, it’s green!


Robin June 9, 2011 at 7:13 am

Looks great. Did I miss the step where you add the cheese? I love cheese…


Katrina June 9, 2011 at 7:15 am

Mmm so tasty! Love this recipe. The sauce sounds fantastic.


chloe @ 321delish June 9, 2011 at 7:21 am

I bet some pine nuts would also taste pretty great in that dish!


Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat June 9, 2011 at 7:22 am

Ooh I love peas on the spring- yes please!


Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique June 9, 2011 at 7:23 am

This sounds (and looks) incredible. I need to find this spinach pasta at Whole Foods. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚


Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray June 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

This looks so good! A perfect summer dish. I would have to add chicken (or maybe tuna?) for hubs.


R @ Learning As I Chop June 9, 2011 at 7:46 am

Definitely going to try this recipe. Looks delicious


Dani Eats Veggies June 9, 2011 at 8:03 am

That looks amazing! Pasta is totally my comfort food, too! Will make ASAP!


alex June 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

looks great! I love peas in anything!


Tabitha (From Single to Married) June 9, 2011 at 8:15 am

mmmm…. looks lovely and yummy too!


Emily @ Comfortable Home Life June 9, 2011 at 8:18 am

Thank you thank you thank you for this! Growing up in an Italian household, I fell in love with fetuccini Alfredo and other creamy, carby treats. I mus make your version! As always, your photography is gorgeous!


Alli June 9, 2011 at 8:21 am

Yum. I love GG dressing … can’t believe you don’t. This looks so fresh and I love all the shades of green playing on the plate.


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman June 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

This is such a pretty dish. I love how summery it looks.


Mama Pea June 9, 2011 at 8:44 am

I am VERY proud.

And not that your recipe isn’t beautiful as is, but if you wanted to lighten it up and/or make it vegan, you could swap out the butter and cream for a couple spoonfuls of hummus and it would also be delicious. (I have something similar on my site)

And we’ve seen your skinny jeans…they are super cute and I’m sure you look fabulous in them!


Baking 'n' Books June 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

I’ve never thought of that…but Hummus goes with anything really!


Rachel @ I'm Loving Today June 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

I use hummus to make creamy pasta sauce all the time! When I first thought of it, I was worried it wouldn’t hold up well, but it’s really one of my favorite ways to make a not-so-decadent pasta dish. I especially like Sabra’s Supremely Spicy hummus for a totally tasty creamy, spicy pasta dish.


M June 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I can’t do cream (makes my stomach queasy!)

but I think AVOCADO instead of cream would make a rich
tasting and delish flavour to this dish !! Yummy πŸ™‚


Sahar June 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I love that you use real ingredients even though its a lightened up recipe. Pasta is my favorite and I only recently found out peas are a protein source – pretty awesome!


Brooke @ Veggie Table June 9, 2011 at 9:23 am

Love this dish – will definitely be adding itto my “must make” list


Rachel @ I'm Loving Today June 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

Yum! This looks so delicious! Just like you, I make my pasta dishes when my boyfriend is away (he claims he doesn’t “like pasta.” Blasphemy!). I’m definitely going to put this one on the top of my “When Eric’s out mountain biking” list! πŸ™‚


Mellie June 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

I love pasta and Alfredo sauce! I want to try this soon!


Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food June 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

This looks SO good! Fettuccini alfredo is my favorite food as well and I love lightened up versions! πŸ˜€


Lauren June 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

This looks so insanely delicious! My mom also had a predilection toward making healthier foods, and she used to make a ‘lighter’ fettucine alfredo that was to die for. I stole the recipe from her years ago, and it’s still one of my favorites.

The addition of peas in your recipe looks amazing! As does the spinach fettucine.


kaila @ healthy helper! June 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

Gosh this makes me want to live by a Whole Foods even more!!! Fresh vegan whole grain spinach pasta!?!?!? OMG. YES!


kaila @ healthy helper! June 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

Gosh this makes me want to live by a Whole Foods even more!!! Fresh vegan whole grain spinach pasta!?!?!? OMG. YES!


Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous June 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

This looks delicious! I also love how summery and light it looks, despite being an alfredo! πŸ™‚


Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

Oh WOW… THANK YOU!!! Fettucini alfredo is my absolute FAVORITE pasta ever so this is perfect!


Ashley June 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

Green food is just so photogenic and delicious looking. The pasta looks so tender + doughy. Love it!


Sarah @OC2Seattle June 9, 2011 at 11:15 am

I really like the substitution of dry jack for parmesan cheese and the peas are a nice add too. Definitely a more guiltless version.


Cait's Plate June 9, 2011 at 11:43 am

Mmm – that looks amazing. You really can’t beat fresh pasta!


Rachel June 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Oh yum, that seems like the absolute perfect summer dish – not too heavy and just light enough! I like your touch with the peas. I don’t eat peas enough but they are such a great addition and can jazz up a simple dish! Thanks for sharing.


Holly @ Rust Belt Runner June 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

That does look good!

I love Private Practice too! My Hubz has been teasing the show is not coming back next season. I don’t even want to imagine that!


Angelica June 11, 2011 at 5:37 am

Hey Jenna,

This dish looks really good. I envy your creativity. The dry Jack cheese sounds really interesting though. Got to try this for dinner tomorrow!


Suzanne June 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I just made this and it was delicious! I added bacon πŸ˜‰


Aggie June 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

I seriously love all things green. I’ve been craving so much green the other day I came home with kale, dandelions, swiss chard, spinach, snow peas, green apples and kiwi. I’m nuts. Can’t get enough of green.

This pasta looks absolutely delicious!! I could live off pasta.


Ashley June 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Made this tonight when the husband was out of town. LOVE. πŸ™‚


Katie June 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Jenna, thanks for posting this – I’ve made it twice now, swapped the cheese and added some other veggies as well, still delicious! Very easy weeknight meal.


Chris Soares February 10, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi Jenna, I am so glad I found you! Your recipes are amazing and the best part is… they are so healthy. Today I will try the goddess pasta. Fettuccine alfredo is also my favorite. Can’t wait to try many more of your recipes. About your book, please let me know when it is coming out. Best Chris.


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