Creamy Penne with Spinach and Peas

For the New Year I wanted to go back to cooking simple and easy dishes that take little time to cook so here’s one. This creamy penne with spinach and peas is so simple but really delicious. It’s also perfect for those meatless days.

For this pasta recipe I use penne, but you can use any kind of pasta you prefer. Simple seasonings such as garlic and shallots go well with the cream. I think weeknight dinners should after all be simple and easy. And chances are, you already have garlic and shallots in your pantry.

To sneak in more nutritional benefit to this creamy penne dish, I add spinach and peas. No need to chop these veggies! I use fresh spinach and frozen peas (fresh peas cook longer). These vegetables are good sources for vitamins, minerals. iron, and fiber, and protein.

This whole pasta meal in one skillet or pan takes only 15 minutes to cook. That’s because as the pasta is boiling, you can make the sauce. Then you just toss everything together and dinner is served. How easy is that?

Creamy Penne with Spinach and Peas

Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • ¾ lb. penne pasta
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cream or half & half
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for topping
  • ¼ cup freshly grated fontina cheese
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Boil pasta according to package direction. Meanwhile heat oil and butter in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, stir in shallot and cook for 1 minute. Add in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Stir in cream and peas. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add in spinach and let simmer for 1 minute.
  • Meanwhile, drain pasta and add it into the pan. Toss in 1/4 cup each of freshly grated fontina and parmesan cheese. Adjust seasoning if needed with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat. Serve immediately with more freshly grated parmesan on top.
Author: Elizabeth Segal
Course: Main Dish
Keyword: easy
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