Hulk Green Pasta Sauce

By Penelope Henderson, MSc, RNutr/ 11/06/2023
Green sauce with pasta

This hulk pasta green sauce recipe is a great way to use greens, particularly if your kids are not keen on the taste of spinach on it’s own. It works brilliantly with peas and other tasty ingredients to create a vibrant green sauce.

By adding avocado, cheese and creme fraiche it becomes a lovely velvety and creamy green pasta sauce. It is also so easy to put together as it mostly blending the ingredients up and you can have a meal ready in about 20 minutes!. 

Reasons to make this green sauce for pasta

  • Just 8 ingredients
  • Quick and easy to make, on the table in no more than 20 minutes time.
  • Versatile. Goes well with other proteins and vegetables and can be eaten hot or cold.
  • Beautiful vibrant green that tastes creamy and delicious
  • Baby friendly and kid friendly pasta sauce
  • Perfect for vegetarians
  • Adaptable for vegans and a gluten free diet. 

Hulk pasta Ingredients

Here’s what I included in this recipe

8 hulk pasta sauce ingredients including pots of olive oil, parmesan, peas, spinach, pistachios, creme fraiche, avocado and lemon

Spinach

I have used both fresh and frozen spinach trialing this recipe and they both work well. Frozen spinach is already chopped and in a block so you don’t have to blend it up but as it’s frozen you may want to take it out to defrost in advance.

If you use fresh spinach, then I recommend the baby spinach as it will be less bitter in taste.

Peas

I used frozen peas and I prefer the petit pois because they are smaller and sweeter than garden peas but you can use whichever you prefer.

Pistachios

Unsalted pistachios are needed for little ones if you are serving this to children. You can buy them already shelled or in their shells. I tend to buy the ones already shelled just so it’s quicker to make the recipe. 

Parmesan

Or a similar strong hard cheese will work just as well for flavour.

Avocado

You will need a ripe avocado, so one that you can gently squeeze. Otherwise it won’t blend so well into a smooth sauce.

Creme fraiche

I add full fat creme friache to make this a really creamy sauce. You can use yoghurt instead if you prefer.

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Seasoning (optional)

Choosing the best pasta

I used rigatoni as it has grooves so the sauce can stick to it and coat it evenly. You can use whichever one you like but it will work best with a pasta that has grooves or ridges such as fusilli or rotini. If you don’t have these then longer strands of pasta like spaghetti or tagliatelle are good alternatives.

For the type of pasta you can use wheat, gluten free or other types like wholewheat or even a lentil type pasta for more fibre and protein. 

How healthy are spinach and peas?

Spinach and peas are a great source of iron, fibre and other vitamins and minerals. These vegetables along with avocado is a great way to get kids eating vegetables, especially if they love pasta.

Spinach is not only high in iron but it is also high in antioxidants, which helps to fight off inflammation. 

Top tip

Spinach is a great source of iron but not very bioavailable which means it is not so easily absorbed as other sources like meat. Therefore combine this hulk green pasta sauce with a source of vitamin C such as a glass of orange juice or small orange to increase its absorption.

Infograhic showing how to increase iron absorption from spinach in a plate of hulk green pasta adding a glass of orange juice for vitamin c.

How to make green pasta sauce step by step

Step 1 – Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions (until al a dente). 

Step 2 – Whilst the pasta is cooking, scoop out the avocado flesh and put the avocado, spinach, pistachios, lemon juice and olive oil into a food processor or blender and blend until starting to form a paste. (If you are using frozen spinach blocks you will need to defrost these first).

Step 3 – Put the peas into a pan of boiling water and cook for two minutes. Alternatively put in a microwavable bowl with hot water and cook on high for 2 minutes. Drain the peas (reserving the liquid) and add the peas to the blender.

Step 4 – Grate the parmesan and add to the blender along with the creme friache. 

Step 5 – Blend again until smooth and if needed to make it thinner then add some of the reserved vegetable water. Blend again until you get the right consistency.

Step 6 – Drain the cooked pasta, add to the green sauce and mix thoroughly. Serve straight away.

Tip – If you want to make the sauce a little thinner then you can add a little pasta water to thin it down. 

Variations

There are lots of variations to this recipe so you can easily adapt it to what you like but the taste may change a little.

Green vegetables – If you prefer not to use spinach then cooked broccoli or kale blended would work well too. You could even make the recipe with herbs of your choice.

Cheese – If you wanted to make this recipe vegan then take away the creme fraiche and parmesan and substitute the cheese for 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. 

Alternatives to pistachios including a bowl of walnuts, cashews or almonds

Nuts – If you are not keen on pistachios then you can use other nuts such as walnuts, almonds or cashews. Or if you can’t eat nuts at all then they can be taken out of the recipe altogether.

Creme friache – If you don’t have creme fraiche then you can use plain yoghurt instead or omit altogether. 

Pasta – I used wheat pasta for this recipe but if you want to avoid gluten then a legume based pasta could be used instead such as red lentil pasta or chickpea pasta.

Recipe FAQ

How many portions does it make?

This recipe makes about 4 portions but you you don’t like it with too much sauce it would feed more people. 

How do I store?

Once it has been made you can eat it straight away or store in the fridge for 3 -4 days until you want to use it. Alternatively it can be frozen for up to 3 months and then defrosted in the fridge overnight. 

How to serve green pasta

hulk green pasta sauce served on a plate

I simply serve hot it in a pasta bowl as it is and add a little grated parmesan on top. If you want to serve it cold then you can too. 

You can add some protein to the meal as well if you like. Some ideas include:

  • Chicken strips
  • Ham
  •  Tofu
  • Salmon
  • Beans

You could also add extra veggies such as:

  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potato
  • salad

If you don’t want to serve the green sauce with pasta then you can stir it into other foods like lentils or beans. You could even spread some on toast or inside a pitta pocket. The options are endless!

hulk green pasta sauce served on a plate

Hulk green pasta sauce recipe

Learn how to make this vibrant green hulk pasta sauce recipe in under 20 minutes!
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 100 grams spinach fresh or frozen
  • 80 grams peas fresh or frozen
  • 50 grams pistachios unsalted
  • 50 grams parmesan or other hard cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 small avocado ripe
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche

Instructions
 

  • Put the spinach, pistachios, avocado, lemon juice and olive oil into a food processor and blend until mixed.
  • Blanch the peas in hot water for a few minutes and add to processor.
  • Grate the cheese and add to the mix along with the creme fraiche or yoghurt.
  • Blend well until smooth.Add seasoning (optional)
  • Cook some pasta until a la Dente and mix the sauce through.The sauce can be stored in the fridge for a few days until needed.

Video

Keyword hulk pasta

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MEET THE AUTHOR
Author Penelope Henderson

Hi I’m Penelope Henderson RNutr Registered Nutritionist specialising in children’s nutrition and responsive feeding therapy.

I am a mum of 2, with over 15 years of experience in nutrition. I support parents to feel confident in how and what to feed their child. I hope you find my recipes and nutrition posts useful, so you can enjoy stress free cooking and mealtimes.

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