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Pasta with spinach, feta and pine nuts

May 29, 2014

The nice thing about this dish (besides being easy to make and tasty) is that the leftovers also make a very good pasta salad. This made it to two of our many picnics this week.

When I first read this recipe and saw that it called for 8 ounces of feta, I thought that was crazy and that it would be way too salty.  But, it turned out to be right after all. I tried adding about 5 ounces, but I had to keep adding more until I got to 8…or maybe it was 9.  I would reserve an ounce to crumble on at the end because I like to be able to see and taste some of the bits of feta instead of having all of it mixed into the spinach.

pasta

1/3 cup pine nuts

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, lightly crushed

1 onion, sliced

1 lb. rotini, fusilli or corkscrew pasta

1/4 tsp allspice

1 lb. frozen spinach

8 ounces feta, crumbled

3-4 tbsp grated parmesan

salt and pepper

Toast the pine nuts in a large dry frying pan (the one you will use for the sauce) until golden. Remove and set aside. Heat the oil in the frying pan over very low heat and add the garlic clove. Let cook for a few minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor then discard the garlic clove. (If you have garlic flavored oil you can just use that and skip this step.)

Cook the sliced onions in the oil over medium-low, until soft, about 8-10 min. (Add a little salt if they start to brown too quickly).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and the pasta.

Add the allspice to the onion. Add the frozen spinach and keep stirring so that it melts evenly. Before draining the pasta, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add to the spinach mixture.

Add 7 ounces crumbled feta and 3 tbsp parmesan to the spinach. Stir to make a smooth sauce. Add pepper and more cheese to taste. Drain the pasta and combine with the spinach sauce. Sprinkle pine nuts over to serve.

pasta salad for a picnic

To make the pasta salad leftovers:

Add fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste to the cold leftover pasta. Sprinkle with pine nuts (and a little more feta).

(Recipe adapted slightly from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Kitchen)

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From → Pasta

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