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Creamy Pasta Sauce with Lemon, Hummus and Fresh Rucola

Creamy Pasta Sauce with Lemon, Hummus and Fresh Rucola

Hummus, fresh lemon zest and peppery rucola come together in this quick yet highly satisfying creamy pasta sauce.

In this dish I blend some powerful Mediterranean flavors, creating a complex flavor profile with strong emphasis on zesty lemon and peppery rucola. I use hummus to blend it all together and then add some umami in the shape of sun-dried tomatoes and nutritional yeast. The result is surprisingly fresh and very flavorful in a highly satisfying and creamy way. And because it contains no or very little added oil (depending on how you choose to sauté the onions, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes) it is also lighter on the calories. Something which is quite rare when it comes to creamy pasta sauces.

The recipe relies on already made hummus. If you don’t have some at hand already you can find my recipe for this quick and healthy Middle Eastern staple here.

You can use spinach instead of rucola in a pinch, but you will lose the peppery “zing” from the rucola. Palm leaf kale (Tuscan kale) will be a better substitute, I think, and so will the more common curly kale. But rucola is my favorite in this dish. And if you want to get really fancy throw in some dry roasted pine nuts as well.

For another creamy pasta sauce try my Creamy Spaghetti Sauce with Mushrooms, Pine Nuts and Spinach or how about an ultra quick Spaghetti Alfredo or Spaghetti Alfredo Light?


alt="a plate of creamy fettuccine with hummus, lemon and arugula, served with a salad and crusty sourdough bread on the side."

Creamy Pasta Sauce with Lemon, Hummus and Rucola

Dea Zoffmann
Using hummus as a sauce base not only results in a really creamy sauce, it also adds healthy plant protein and fiber to your dish.
Servings 4 people as part of a meal


  • 2 shallots halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable stock or water or 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 100 grams fresh rucola
  • Zest from 1 whole lemon
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 to 1 cup pasta cooking water
  • 225 grams fettuccine or pasta of your choice


  • Start by getting the pasta water up and running by bringing a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  • While the pasta water gets boiling, grab a large saucepan or pot and heat the stock (or olive oil) over medium heat and sauté the onions, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes for a couple of minutes. Add a bit more stock if it dries out.
  • Add the rucola and lemon zest and sauté until the rucola wilts, then stir in the hummus and nutritional yeast. Turn off the heat and wait until the pasta is cooked.
  • Boil the pasta according to instructions on the package. When the pasta is done, take about 3/4 to 1 cup of the pasta water and stir it into the sauce. Then drain the pasta and add that to the sauce as well. Mix well, and serve.

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