This cheesy brie pasta recipe has crispy pancetta, fresh spinach, garlic, and a hint of lemon. It's so quick and easy to make!
This brie sauce for pasta is rich and creamy... without adding any cream. The combination of the easy-melting brie and hot, starchy pasta water makes a lovely sauce. There's no baking brie in this recipe.
How to make brie pasta (overview):
Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta according to package directions (reserve some of the pasta water prior to draining it). Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a skillet until crispy, then add in the garlic, followed by the brie, lemon juice, and about 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water. Toss until the sauce is smooth, then add in the spinach and drained pasta and toss again, adding more pasta water if needed. Season with salt & pepper and enjoy! (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
This brie cheese sauce beautifully coats the shells, so it's almost like a grown-up mac and cheese. 😉
Recipe notes & tips:
- You may sub the pancetta for a few slices of thick-cut bacon (pancetta is an Italian bacon if you're unfamiliar with it). I buy the pancetta pre-diced rather than in thin slices like it's sometimes sold.
- Brie rind is edible, but it won't melt as easily into the sauce, so that's why I recommend cutting the rind off. You don't need to do this perfectly... I simply use a sharp knife to slice most of it off.
- I used shells, but feel free to swap with whatever pasta you happen to have on hand.
- This recipe is very simple to make, but I would just ensure you don't add too much of the hot pasta water to the sauce at once or it won't be as thick/creamy. You can always add more as needed, so pour it in carefully.
- This sauce is quite forgiving, so if you have a bit more/less brie or pancetta, don't worry too much about exact quantities. And you could definitely throw in extra herbs if you have some (chives or basil would work well).
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Questions about this brie pasta recipe? Let me know in the comments below!
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 8 ounces brie rind removed, cut into small pieces (see note)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions. Important: you will need to reserve some of the pasta water, so don't drain it before step 3 of the recipe.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, fry the pancetta over medium-high heat until crispy (about 8-10 minutes). Leave the fat in the pan.
- Reserve 1 cup of the hot pasta water (you won't use it all) prior to draining the pasta.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic to the skillet. Cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the brie to the skillet, along with the lemon juice and about 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water. Toss, using two spoons, until the brie has melted and you've got a nice sauce.
- Take the skillet off the heat and add the spinach and drained pasta. Toss until the spinach has wilted. You may need to add another splash of the hot pasta water if you find it needs a little more liquid.
- Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.
- Brie rind is edible, but it won't melt as easily into the sauce, so that's why I recommend cutting the rind off. You don't need to do this perfectly... I simply use a sharp knife to slice most of it off. I recommend removing the rind and then cutting it into pieces (1/2-1" is fine).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.