This is a recipe I got from a fantastic cookbook called Nigella Kitchen. My sister-in-law got it for me and after getting back into the hang of cooking with the Meatless Stuffed Pasta Shells I couldn’t wait to try out some of the recipes in the book. This meal was so good I can’t wait to eat my leftover lunch! The toasted pine nuts are a fantastic addition, though not a cheap one, and the feta’s strong aroma and flavor somehow become sweeter and less punch-you-in-the-face. I am looking forward to trying all the other recipes!
Curly Pasta with Feta, Spinach, and Pine Nuts [3x5 Printable Recipe]
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 Tbsp garlic flavored olive oil (we used regular olive oil and added 3 cloves of garlic, minced)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 pound short pasta like Cavatappi or fusili (we used ziti/penne)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (or equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves)
- 1 pound frozen chopped spinach (we used a 9-oz bag of spinach and cooked it in the microwave according to package directions, although we realized later that it would have been better to cook it in the pan with the rest of the ingredients)
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 3-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Start the water boiling for your pasta. Once it’s come to a boil add the pasta and cook until tender.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium-low heat until they are golden brown. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in large sauce pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender, adding a little salt if they start browning as you are not necessarily trying to caramelize the onion.
- Add the spinach and continuously stir until the frozen spinach is melted, or, if you used fresh spinach, until it is wilted. Add the allspice.
- Once the pasta is finished cooking, pull out an espresso-cup-full (about 1-oz. or so) of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta and add it to the spinach mixture.
- Add the feta to the spinach mixture and stir it around until the feta has melted. Then add the Parmesan cheese and continue to stir, melting the Parmesan.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss everything well to combine.
- Serve warm and top with the toasted pine nuts.