My biggest inspiration while creating my own recipes is the selection of left-over product in my fridge. As someone passionate about cooking and trying new things I buy many ingredients in small quantities to experiment and serve a very varied weekly menu. As a result, I always have some stuff left over by the end of the week. For exactly that reason, and because I hate any form of food waste, I tend to do my weekly grocery shopping for slightly fewer meals than I will need. It allows me to create some meals using whatever I have left in the fridge by the end of the week. This is how my incredibly simple pasta with spinach and pecorino pesto recipe was born.

Following making my homemade spinach tortellini recipe, I had some fresh spinach left over. Since we are in lockdown, it’s been harder to find parmesan cheese in large quantities (a large number of recipes I make on a weekly basis require some type of Italian hard cheese), so I have been using pecorino cheese more than ever. The strong and tangy taste of this cheese made of sheep’s milk adds a lot of flavour to my meals these days.

Even though I am a great fan of basil, somehow I have never been the biggest fan of the classic pesto, especially store-bought, but I love making pesto myself with other greens such as spinach, arugula or watercress. As long as you have some good extra virgin olive oil, you can experiment endlessly with whatever greens, nuts and cheeses you have left in your fridge or cupboard! For some added flavour you can even add any of your favourite herbs or spices. Try it yourself and let me know if you find any interesting and delicious combinations, I’d love to try them.

I, on this occasion, had no nuts left in my kitchen cupboard, so decided to keep things very simple. The combination of spinach and pecorino works so well that it really doesn’t need much! I was planning to add some garlic, but in all my excitement after having a taste of this pesto, I completely forgot and in all honesty, really didn’t miss it.


Pasta with Spinach and Pecorino Pesto Recipe

  • Author: Michiel Steur
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


Try an alternative take on basil pesto with this delicious and easy penne pasta with homemade spinach and pecorino pesto recipe!



  • 65g fresh spinach
  • 20g pecorino cheese (plus extra for serving)
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g penne pasta
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add generous amount of salt.
  2. Put spinach, pecorino cheese and extra virgin olive oil into an electric food processor or mini chopper and pulse until you have a pesto consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Boil pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Save a mug of the pasta water, then drain and put pasta back in the pot.
  4. Add the spinach pesto and stir vigorously, adding some of the saved pasta water if needed, until the pesto fully coats the pasta.
  5. Serve immediately with some extra grated pecorino cheese.


Also delicious cold as the base for a delicious pasta salad!

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 770

Keywords: pasta with spinach pecorino pesto, spinach and pecorino pesto, basil pesto alternatives, easy spinach pesto pasta, easy spinach pesto recipe

Spinach in KitchenAid mini chopper

Recipe for penne pasta with spinach pesto with pecorino

More pasta recipes on Michiel’s Kitchen:

Share this recipe: