It’s actually a bit bizarre that in the few months I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve never posted any pasta dishes. The Fella and I eat a LOT of pasta, mainly because it’s cheap (his thumbs up) and quick (my thumbs up). Because don’t you hate it when you’ve had a long day at work and you’re faced with the stupid what to make for dinner dilemma? I don’t know about the rest of you, but sometimes I find weekday evenings frustratingly short. Some evenings I just want something quick and easy and I don’t like only sitting down to my dinner at 9 o’clock at night. For one thing, that’s when all the good shows start. Hence, pasta it is.
You would not believe the number of “pasta surprise” recipes we have, The Fella is especially good at these. Basically they consist of whatever we have in the fridge, and thus they are great for avoiding a condition called postworksupermarketrage. This dreadful disorder is particularly prevalent among 20 and 30 something childless professionals, who use their weekends for getting drunk and other irresponsible frivolities and neglect to do basic household tasks, such as shopping. Tut tut tut.
This is a wee step up from pasta surprise, and it is a little beaut of a recipe. I found it in Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen, and I guarantee you can get this on the table in 20 minutes flat. Beat that Jamie Oliver!
Pasta with feta, spinach and pine nuts
50 g (2 oz) pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 onion, finely diced
500 g (17 ½ oz) pasta
¼ tsp allspice
500 g (17 ½ oz) frozen spinach
200 g (7 oz) feta cheese
3-4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
Boil a pot of well salted water for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack.
Carefully toast the pine nuts in a hot, dry pan. You’ll need to keep a good eye on them and toss them regularly to ensure they don’t burn.
Heat the olive oil in the pan and brown the onion on a low heat, once it has a nice colour, add the garlic (Nigella actually just uses garlic oil, instead of a garlic clove, but I didn’t have any and I love love love garlic, so a clove it was) and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the allspice, then add the spinach, stirring constantly to help the spinach defrost, if you have any excess defrosted water, drain this away. Once the spinach has melted, crumble the feta cheese into the pan and let it melt. Then add as much Parmesan as you think tastes good.
Just before you drain the pasta scoop out a cupful of the cooking water and set aside. Toss the drained pasta into the feta and spinach sauce and mix well (using the cup of cooking water to help loosen the sauce if you think it needs it). Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, then season to taste and enjoy.
Super fast, cheap, easy and of course…….
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Creamy, basily, mushroomy pasta
Oregano, Pecorino and macadamia nut pesto
Roast baby squash with mozzarella and celery leaves