I know I should be thinking about salads, now that it’s January and the holiday overindulgences are behind us, but with the cooler weather it’s pasta I want. This pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach is a quick and easy dish packed with sweet cherry tomatoes and earthy spinach. The cherry tomatoes and spinach are sautéed with garlic which adds a pungent bite to the dish. Once the veggies are sautéed they are tossed with the pasta, some chopped olives and parmesan cheese. An easy, fast pasta dish that take about 20 minutes to come together.
This not a heavy, oily dish. You start by sautéing the spinach – a handful at a time – adding more as the spinach cooks down. Cherry tomatoes are sliced in half and then briefly sautéed until they release their juices and collapse in on themselves. Garlic is added to both the cherry tomatoes and spinach as they cook giving the dish a heady, garlicky kick.
A couple of notes:
You want your spinach to be very dry when sautéing it. So give it an extra spin in your salad spinner before sautéing. If it’s too damp or wet it will water down the sauce. So after sautéing the spinach, if you see a lot liquid in the bottom of the pan just strain it off.
Rather than sautéing the spinach as whole leaves, you should roughly chop up the spinach before sautéing. This will prevent the spinach from clumping up too much when you toss it with the pasta.
This dish comes together very quickly, so have everything prepped and ready to go before you beginning cooking anything. You should be able to have everything prepped before the water comes to a boil.
|Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach|| |
- 8 oz of pasta - I used penne
- 1 veggie bouillon cube
- 10 oz of cherry tomatoes - chopped in half
- 10 oz of baby spinach - roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 12 kalamata olives - roughly chopped
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese - finely grated
- 8 twists of black pepper
- a pinch of salt
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one bouillon cube.
- While the water is coming to a boil, prep and chop your cherry tomatoes and spinach. Mince garlic. Roughly chop olives and grate cheese.
- When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook as per package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, add 1 tbs of olive oil and garlic to a large sauté pan and cook for 30 seconds over medium high heat until briefly cooked - stirring the whole time so garlic doesn't burn.
- Add chopped spinach to the sauté pan a bit at a time. As it cooks down, continue to add spinach until all spinach has been added to the pan. Once spinach has wilted down, remove spinach to a large bowl. There shouldn't be a lot of water in the bottom of the pan, but if there is then strain it off.
- Add 1 tbs olive oil to the sauté pan, add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook briefly (30 seconds). Add cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook for 3 minutes over medium high heat until tomatoes cook down and release their juices. Add cherry tomatoes to cooked spinach in the bowl.
- When pasta is done, strain and add to the bowl with cherry tomatoes and spinach. Add chopped olives and ⅔ of parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta and serve.