Weeknight Dinner: Green Pasta

For a vegan, green pasta seems perfectly normal.

Does green pasta sound yucky? Does it mean that you add a few drops of food coloring to your pasta water? Not at all.

For a vegan, green pasta seems perfectly normal. In the post from Heated recommended by Mark Bittman, I was fascinated by these approaches to pasta learned from the author at culinary school in Italy. If a pasta dish doesn’t come from Italy, it isn’t real, am I right? I was especially intrigued by this “green pasta” approach. I will provide this insight: you need a basic knowledge of cooking for these approaches because there are no amounts to follow so you must be comfortable in the kitchen

Trying a few different combinations – with Kale and with Swiss Chard, with Rotini and with Cavatappi, using a high-speed blender and a food processor I am sharing the best results. This recipe uses greens, beans, nuts, and broth to make beyond-satisfying vegan sauces. Here’s my take on this approach – It. Is. Awesome. I don’t know why, it just is. It’s so simple yet this is the way they approach food in Italy.

I remember visiting Florence many years ago and stopping in a hole-in the wall, down a dark alley restaurant. The menu was written on a chalkboard and offered very few selections. Among them were asparagus soup and two different asparagus pasta specials. You just knew they had purchased tender young asparagus by the bushel that day because it was the best and freshest vegetable they could find, and they developed awesome creations with it.

OK, back to present times! In honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, I offer you “Green Pasta.” Here are my measurements for the one pictured. I topped it with ‘Everything-but-the-bagel’ seasoning (very American, but good!)


  • 8 oz Cavatappi
  • 1 Large bunch of Swiss Chard
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • ½ Cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • ¼ Cup pasta water
  • 1 Tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste


  1. Blanch Swiss Chard (submerge in boiling water for 2 mins). Add garlic to the boiling water during the last minute (this mellows the garlic because it’s not cooked). Remove greens and garlic, run under cold water and set aside
  2. Cook pasta in heavily salted water until al dente. You can use the same water for both.
  3. Blend greens, garlic, peas, olive oil, cooking liquid, red pepper flakes until smooth(ish)
  4. Toss with pasta. Add salt to taste

Buon appetito!

Looking for more of Jill’s vegan recipes and more pasta recipes on our site. Check out her favorite find Purple Carrot for inspiration