ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Green Sauces for Pasta

Updated on July 4, 2017
Elyn MacInnis profile image

Elyn spent the last 30 years in China, coming home in the summer to cook American food and have fun doing craft projects with her family.

Green Pasta Sauces

Some people love tomatoes. Some people don't. I am someone who doesn't like tomatoes, so I have been working on Green Spaghetti Sauces so I can enjoy the fun on top of spaghetti too!

Here are two versions of sauces I like a lot, and I hope you enjoy them too. They both have really healthy ingredients, one that will help your kidneys and another one that should help lower your blood pressure. But maybe it is best not to think of them along those lines first. They are just tasty sauces that you will enjoying as a change from tomato sauce on top of your pasta and spaghetti. I hope you like them!

(All images are by Elyn MacInnis)

Some people hate the taste of cilantro. I used to be one of those people, but I have discovered that I like it in sauce. So be brave and try this! If you love the taste of cilantro, you are in for a treat! And the effect of cilantro on blood pressure is legendary. So do give this one a try.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Total Time: 10-15 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • put through garlic press or finely chopped
  • salt to add to the ground garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons cashews or peanuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • some stems of mint if you prefer that flavor
  • 1 hot green chili finely minced if you like heat


  1. Blend everything in the food processor until smooth. Add some water if it is too dry. Voila! It's so easy!
Cast your vote for Indian Green Spaghetti Sauce

How to prepare the garlic - so that it is tasty but doesn't set your mouth on fire!

The trick is crushing the garlic with some salt until it is liquid. Take whatever amount of garlic you need, and smack it with the side of a knife. Let it sit 15 minutes. This brings out all the compounds that are good for you. Then peel it, and put it through a garlic press or chop it finely. Add to a bowl or a mortar and pestle. Add a big pinch of salt per two cloves of garlic, and start grinding it with a spoon until the salt is mixed in and the garlic is basically liquid. This takes the fire out, but preserves the flavor.

If you love veggies you need a good peeler

When I was young I just used our ancient family vegetable peeler. It worked, but the blade was so dull. After I moved away from home I had to get a new one, and was I glad! Peeling is so easy if your peeler is sharp. Don't frustrate yourself... get a new one if your old blade is dull.

OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Peeler Set, 10-inch, Green/Orange/Red
OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Peeler Set, 10-inch, Green/Orange/Red
Three different peelers, in colors you can't lose!

Cilantro - Hate it or love it?

Why do some people hate cilantro?

Some people really dislike cilantro. Julia Child was one of them. But in China and in Latin America, it is very common to find cilantro in food.

Our like and dislike is in the brain

Brain scientists think that a large part of the problem is that some cultures never use it, so people just aren't used to the flavor. Some scientists think it is genetic. But flavor chemists have found certain compounds in cilantro that are fragments of soap molecules that have been modified, and that is why some people feel it tastes a little like soap.

Is there a solution? Yes!

Japanese scientists have found a good solution - if you crush the leaves the soapy flavor will gradually fade as enzymes in the leaf alter the molecules to flavorless substances. Perhaps this is why this cilantro green sauce is so delicious!

How to learn to like the flavor

It may have a strange smell, but brain scientists have studied that as well, and claim that if you keep eating it, over time your assessment will change. Frankly, I never thought I would like cilantro, but after many years of bumping into it in Chinese food, I have indeed begun to like it. So you never know! It is in fact a wonderful herb.

The benefits of Cilantro - also called Coriander

~ has antibiotic properties and can combat the bacteria that causes cholera.

~ has been used to treat insomnia and anxiety.

~ It is used as a digestive aid, and also as a diuretic.

~ Coriander has been used traditionally as a treatment for diabetes.

Do you like cilantro or not?

Parsley and Basil Pesto Sauce - Green and healthy

Basil Pesto is traditional, and basil is a fantastic herb that almost everyone likes. Adding parsley gives this green sauce an extra boost nutritionally. You need to try it in order to understand the beauty of the pairing.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 2-4 people


  • 2 cloves garlic - crushed with salt
  • 1/4 cup or more if you like of almonds or pine nuts - best if toasted lightly in over ahead of time
  • Bunch (about 150g) of Italian flat leaved parsley - washed and lightly chopped
  • Bunch of Basil - washed and lightly chopped
  • Up to 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil - I like less.
  • Freshly grated parmesan - according to your taste
  • 1 pound pasta - or however much you need for the number of people you are having.
  • Reserve some of the water that the pasta cooks in


  1. Take the side of a knife and smack the garlic cloves. This will help them release the good elements that help your heart and body. After 15 minutes, put in a garlic press (or finely chop) and squeeze it into a small bowl. They take a big pinch of salt and add it to the garlic, crushing the garlic against the side of the bowl. Why? When you do this the flavor comes out and the heat of the garlic fades. I am now doing this to all the garlic I use because I hate to have a really nasty fiery garlic mouth after eating.
  2. If you have time, toast the almonds (less oily) or pine nuts (very oily) in the oven at a low heat for five minutes or until they get toasty.
  3. Then use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender stick to chop the nuts finely.
  4. Take the basil and parsley and grind them up either in a food processor or with a blender stick, however it works best for you.
  5. Add in olive oil until it looks good to you - I like less oil, but many people insist on the standard 1 cup. For me, less oil is better and leaves the freshness in the flavor of the end result.
  6. Add in the nuts and the garlic and process a little more until everything is completely mixed. Put in a bowl, and add to the pasta. Then add a tablespoon or two of the reserved pasta water. The starch in the water you used for boiling the pasta will make the sauce seem creamier.
  7. Voila! A beautiful green sauce for your pasta!

Parsley is SO good for you!

Why you want to eat parsley

Did you know that parsley fights cancer?

Myristicin, a natural compound found in parsley, inhibits tumor formation, especially in the lungs, is an anti-oxidant, helps neutralize carcinogens in cigarette smoke, and helps the body fight off colon and prostate cancer.

Other good compounds - helping metabolism and fighting inflammation

Myristicin is not the only antioxidant in parsley. There are others, including lutolin, a flavonoid that also promotes carbohydrate metabolism and is a good anti-inflammatory.

Vitamin powerhouse

Two tablespoons of parsley has 16% of the RDA for for vitamin C and 12% of the RDA of vitamin A.

Vitamin A is critical to keep your mucous membranes healthy, which will keep you from getting colds and flu. It also helps build the lining of your eyes, urinary and intestinal tracts.

The folate king, Parsley, like Cilantro, with its great store of folate (vitamin B9) will convert homocysteine to harmless compounds. Homocysteine is an amino acid that you have in your body naturally but if you have too much of it, it can encourage plaque formation in your arteries and veins. Persley and cilantro both can help in the fight against cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, stroke and hardening of the arteries.

Love that Vitamin K!

A simple two tablespoons of parsley has 153% of the RDA for vitamin K. Vitamin K is critical for strengthening our bones. It also prevents calcium build up in the body's tissues which can cause hardening of the arteries and affect the heart.

Helping your nerves

Your nerves are covered with a fat (sphingolipid) that helps maintain the myelin sheath around your nerves. The vitamin K in parsley helps your nervous system keep the myelin sheath healthy.

spinach in white sauce
spinach in white sauce

Green add-ins - Straight from the fridge

With a simple White Sauce, you can make all sorts of things!

Have you ever considered just making a simple white sauce and then adding in green veggies straight from your fridge?

The simple white sauce for pasta is made from flour, oil or butter, and milk or other liquids. It doesn't have to be made with milk, but can be made from soup broth, or a bouillon cube dissolved in water. You don't have to use butter if you don't like the flavor, but can use oil instead.

This photo is of what I had for dinner - spinach in white sauce with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg over penne. It was delicious.

If you aren't familiar with "white sauce" - here is a recipe:

1 tablespoon oil or butter

1 tablespoon flour

Heat the oil in a skillet. Turn it off. Add in the flour and stir until there are no lumps.

Add in 1 cup of liquid of your choice. Milk, half milk and half water and half bouillon, or all bouillon.

Stir in until all lumps have disappeared. Then heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Then you can add your green ingredients. After your have added everything check the sauce for thickness. Too thick can be cloying - you can add water to give it just the right consistency for you.

What can you add to your white sauce to make it Green!

An avocado, chopped finely, with garlic and basil

Small pieces of green peppers, with a splash of cream

Chopped green onions and a hard boiled egg

Green olives and some chopped peppers

A big handful of your favorite herbs

Green peas and thyme

Like olives and herbs? - This one is for you!

A tangy olive and herb sauce for people who like deep flavor in their green sauce.

Prep time: 30 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 4


  • 2 cloves garlic - put through a garlic press or minced finely
  • 1 and 1½ cups fresh basil leaves - packed with stems removed
  • 1 and 1½ cups fresh parsley - stems removed
  • 1½ cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons capers - drained
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese - plus a little more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • good quality olive oil - enough to create a soft mixture
  • lemon juice if you like the addition to the flavor


  1. In food processor, with the motor running, drop in garlic, basil, parsley and almonds. Process until finely minced.
  2. Save out a handful of olives and capers for the top, but then add rest of olives, capers,(and hot pepper if you like it) and process until finely minced.
  3. Again, save a handful of the parmesan cheese for the top of your finished dish, but add the rest of the parmesan cheese and pulse.
  4. Slowly add enough olive oil to create a "pesto" consistency.
  5. If you like tomatoes, you can garnish the dish with cherry tomato quarters and fresh basil leaves.
  6. You can freeze the sauce if you like, and one cup (or more) is about the right amount for a pound of spaghetti.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)