Twirly Pasta with Spinach and Queso Manchego

Spinach is a one of the healthiest vegetables and is referred to as a super food.  It's low in calories and yet high in vitamins.  It's an excellent source of Vitamins A and K, calcium and folate, among many other vitamins and minerals.

Cooking spinach is... well, you really shouldn't cook spinach.  Or if you ever need to cook spinach, toss it in during the last 10 seconds of cooking.  Any longer than that, your spinach will turn mushy and unappetizing.

When you make this pasta, toss in the spinach at the very end.  It will wilt ever so slightly and will turn into this lovely dark emerald color.  This is a light yet filling dish... and healthy.  I suppose you can call this a warm pasta salad because of the dressing (as opposed to sauce). The recipe below calls for half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. If you enjoy pasta with a kick, double up on the red pepper flakes!

Did you know... Queso Manchego (or Manchego cheese) originated from Spain and it is made from sheep's milk. It has a delicious creamy, salty, buttery flavor that tastes great with this pasta dish. A great alternative to Queso Manchego is Smoked Gouda!

  • 8 ounces extra wide egg noodles
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (coarsely ground)
  • 1/2 cup manchego cheese (grated or shredded)
  • 5 ounces (or 1 package) fresh spinach
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the fresh spinach and toss well.
  3. Once the noodles are done, drain well and add to the bowl. Toss well.
  4. Divide into 2 portions and sprinkle with more manchego cheese and red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve immediately.

* This dish pairs well with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Cheers!

Printable Recipe


  1. i find twirly pastas to be the cutest...hehe. you did a great job healthifying this dish with spinach.i have never tried manchego cheese but i do like cheese and will look for it next time i am doing groceries.

  2. yeah, twirly pasta rocks! thanks abeer. :)

  3. I love everything in this dish; I will definitely be doubling the crushed red pepper- I love a good kick of spice.

  4. What a great combination of flavors, and healthy too!

  5. I love pasta I could eat this every day for every meal!!

    What a great color and use of the ingredients!

    We just started following you! We saw you on food gawker! Cant wait for some recipes!!


  6. That is the most healthiest pasta and most mouth watering pasta I have ever seen. I'd love to try this one.
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