Mediterranean Pasta


OK, so I don't really think it's all that "Mediterranean" but we'll go with it...unless someone else can suggest a better name?!?

OK, so I don't really think it's all that "Mediterranean" but we'll go with it...unless someone else can suggest a better name?!?

This pasta is so yummy and easy!  But…I learned an important lesson when I served it to friends this past Friday – don’t overcook it.  Due to circumstances I ended up starting this sauce too early.  By the time we were ready to eat the tomatoes had all broken down and it had a completely different flavor.  So, if you’re going to make this, start it about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat.  Also, on Saturday I served this over penne but I really liked it on spaghetti a lot better.

Mediterranean Pasta 

  • pine nuts
  • spaghetti (whole wheat or regular)
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • several cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • cherry (or grape) tomatoes, sliced in half
  • spinach, big, leafy, fresh spinach – I think the flavor here is so much better if you’re able to get some fresh grown cooking spinach as opposed to the bagged baby stuff.  Both will work but if you can get fresh spinach from your CSA or Farmer’s Market jump on it!
  • firm goat cheese, grated
  • olive oil

Bring water to boil in a large pot and cook spaghetti according to instructions.  Meanwhile, roast your pine nuts.  Simply add to a frying pan over medium heat and roast, stirring frequently, until toasted.  The nuts can burn really easily so watch carefully. 

Raw Pine Nuts

Raw Pine Nuts

Roasted Pine Nuts

Roasted Pine Nuts

Removed the pine nuts from the pan and set aside.  In the same pan heat some olive oil over medium to low heat and add a bit of butter.  This really rounds out the flavor of the pasta – you don’t need to add a lot, just a bit for flavor.  Add the crushed garlic and saute slowly.  

Sauteing the garlic over low heat - be patient.

Sauteing the garlic over low heat - be patient.

 You do want to be careful here not to burn the garlic.  Once it’s burnt it turns dark yellow or brown and gets really bitter and that is not the flavor we’re looking for here.  Once garlic begins to soften add the tomatoes and saute for a few minutes. 

Saute tomatoes until they soften slightly.

Saute tomatoes until they soften slightly.

At this point your spaghetti should be getting close to done.  When it only has a minute or two left add the spinach to the tomatoes and garlic.  Saute until spinach wilts and you have a nice sauce.

Yummy!

Yummy!

Drain pasta and return to pot.  Add spinach, tomato and garlic mixture, being sure to scrape out all the sauce onto the pasta.  Add grated goat cheese and pine nuts and mix over very low heat to allow the cheese to melt a bit.

Everything ready to be thoroughly mixed.

Everything ready to be thoroughly mixed.

Here’s a bit of a product plug.  The following goat cheese is perfect for this dish.  It’s really mild and firm so the flavor ends up being there but not too “goaty”.

The best goat cheese for cooking that I've ever met!

The best goat cheese for cooking that I've ever met!

Anyway, back to the recipe.  Mix well and top with some extra cheese.  Serve promptly because this tastes much better when it’s piping hot!

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

And again, I’m serious about wanting new names for this recipe.  I don’t really like the one I’m using so please make suggestions!

 

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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10 Responses to Mediterranean Pasta

  1. Sol says:

    Why don’t we just open a neat little tuscan restaurant? Small, modern with new takes on Italian dishes using all the traditional ingredient in new ways. I think it would be so great and you obviously have the skills needed for it. What do you think?

  2. Ashli says:

    Sol – I like how you think! I’d dine on Rebecca’s food nightly if I could!

    Name for pasta: La Pastascuitta della Casa. (Tossed pasta of the house or the house tossed pasta). It sounds much better in Italian 😉

    or

    The Best Pasta You’ve Ever Put In Your Mouth. I think that would sell well at your restaurant with Sol.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Sol and Ashli! You both are so kind! And I like the restaurant idea – how fun would that be? Also, great recommendation for the name Ash. If I could guarantee that the restaurant would only bring in people like you two I would open it tomorrow!

  4. lailablogs says:

    this is a must try for me .. looks really delicious .. Laila .. http://lailablogs.com/

  5. Josh says:

    your cooking pictures are mouth-watering… I’m so hungry;)

  6. POP says:

    Now we’re talking….I’ll put up some cash…(silent partner guy sorta deal)…..have Luke and Julie find a sweet location in SL….(you know an old building with TONS of character that Sol could fix up)….Sounds great. My only request is that I’d be allowed to mingle with the guests when I visit. Becca start chopping those tomatoes!

  7. Hilary says:

    Envisioning Pop as a “silent” anything has me laughing really hard!

  8. Josh says:

    Hahaha “silent” anything!!! nice hil

  9. POP says:

    You guys! Geez…. All right, I got it. Shows that you were raised right…being so honest and everything! So, I’d rather be making easy with the customers and ‘helping’ out in the kitchen than just watching the books….anyway. So let’s do it!

  10. Rebecca says:

    I need to go to cooking school first! You are all too kind – and hilarious. I love this comment thread. I am thinkin’ this would be a lot of fun…lots to think about.

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