This light Mediterranean Pasta is inspired by Mediterranean flavors of garlic, olives, lemon, basil and tomatoes. It's a great weeknight vegetarian meal in under 30 minutes.
Servings (change as needed): 3
- 6 oz pasta, about 190g (I use capellini, vermacelli or spaghettini)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pepper, seeded and chopped red, yellow or orange
- 1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped (I use black olives)
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 large tomato, chopped)
- 3 green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch chili flakes (I use 1/4-1/2 tsp)
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more) for garnish- optional
COOK PASTA: Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook until desired consistency according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta liquid. Put pasta back in pot and cover to keep warm.
MAKE SAUCE: While pasta is cooking, In a medium skillet or sauce pan, heat oil to medium high, add red pepper and green onions. Saute for 2 minutes. Add olives, basil, tomatoes, garlic, salt, chili flakes and lemon juice - saute for 4-5 more minutes. If tomatoes are very watery, cook an extra 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and basil, stirring just until wilted.
COMBINE PASTA AND SAUCE: Add pasta to sauce and mix well, incorporating a bit of pasta liquid at a time to moisten if needed (i.e. if pasta is too dry). Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle Parmesan on the pasta or serve separately as garnish. Alternatively, add roasted shrimp or grilled chicken pieces if desired.
Make Ahead: This pasta is actually excellent the next day, so sure, go ahead and make it the day before. Store in a sealed container. To reheat, add a tablespoon or two of water, then heat in the microwave on high for a couple of minutes, stirring half way through.
Nutrition value estimates do not include optional Parmesan cheese.
Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 641mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5671IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg