grandma’s favorite greek (to me) pasta

by Stacy

We did a really good job eating all of our CSA veggies a few weeks ago. Normally we have a few things skulking around the back of the fridge somewhere, but just before our latest share arrived we were pretty much done. I was proud of us, until I went to make dinner and realized that we didn’t have any produce. Huh. A little digging in the pantry provided a can of artichoke hearts, the fridge had a little spinach and the dregs of a jar of olives. Good enough for me!

Last year when I was taking care of my grandma I made her lunch three times a week. At first she had some reservations; what kind of crazy hippie vegetarian food would I make? The dish I made most often (at her request!) was a variation on this pasta dish. It’s quite versatile — I didn’t have tomatoes or feta on hand, so I just left them out — and quick to mix up.

greek pasta

Even my husband will eat spinach in this dish! It’s good without tomatoes, it’s better with them, so they’re not in the photos but they are in the recipe. This is one of those times you can “veggie-load” your dish — the more tomatoes and spinach you add, the less pasta you’ll need to eat to feel full.

Other nice additions are eggplant, red pepper and zucchini or summer squash. This same topping also makes for a really nice pizza!

The most time-consuming steps of this are cooking the pasta and preheating your oven. I like to roast the tomatoes in my toaster oven because it heats up faster and doesn’t heat up the kitchen as much. If you’re in most of the country (it’s 62F and cloudy here) and it’s hot, don’t roast the tomatoes first, just toss them in at the end. Put the pasta water on to boil before you slice the onion and tomatoes, then do the rest of the chopping when the onion is cooking. I can whip this together in about 20 minutes!

greek pasta

Greek (to me) Pasta

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces dry pasta (linguine or penne are my favorites, I only had spaghetti)
  • 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 1 shallot or small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and (if large) chopped
  • 4-6 canned artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 kalamata olives, sliced into rings
  • ground black pepper
  • Feta cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil pasta until al dente. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 425F. While pasta is cooking, slice tomatoes in half and place them cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven or toaster oven about 10 minutes until tomatoes are wrinkled and slightly browned. Remove from oven.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add oregano and onion and stir briefly, cooking until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic. Cook until spinach is wilted and artichoke hearts are warmed through. Add tomatoes and drained pasta. Stir together.
  4. Serve topped with olives, pepper, and cheese if using.

greek pasta


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