Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    hungry person

Appears in

Good Food For Bad Days

Good Food For Bad Days

By Jack Monroe

Published 2020

  • About

Eating your greens needn’t be a chore – here I combine two and a half of your recommended 5 a day with a bowl of buttery, comforting pasta. I make this for myself when I’m in a funk and know I need something good but don’t have the time nor the energy to really think about what. For extra comfort, just up the butter and cheese!


  • a few pinches of salt
  • 100 g spaghetti or linguine
  • 80 g spinach or kale
  • 40 g spring onions
  • 80 g green courgettes or more
  • 1 tbsp any oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • finely grated favourite cheese, to serve
  • plenty of black pepper or a few chilli flakes


Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full with water and salt it generously. Bring to the boil, then snap your spaghetti or linguine in half and pop it in. You can stick half in and wait for it to soften before nudging in the other half, which is the traditional method, but most of the time I just do this instead, as it’s less effort. Reduce the pan to a simmer and cover with a lid, if you have one, or a sturdy plate, if you don’t. This retains the heat, meaning it cooks faster and is more energy-efficient.

Meanwhile, stuff the spinach or kale into the large cup of a bullet blender, followed by the spring onions. Roughly dice your courgettes and add that too. Add the oil and lemon juice and pulse to a smooth, bright green paste. Set to one side. (See below for how to make it without a blender.)

When the pasta is cooked – around 8 minutes if covered, 10 minutes if not – drain most of the salty water away, reserving a little. Add a splash of the reserved cooking water to the green sauce to loosen it slightly and bring out the bright flavours. Return the pasta to the pan and pour over the sauce. Toss briefly until well coated, and finish with finely grated cheese and black pepper or chilli flakes. Serve hot, immediately, or enjoy chilled from the fridge – both work well!