Tonight I needed a healthy and simple yet filling dinner, and pasta always fits that bill. But not just any pasta — I wanted something creative and different from the whole spaghetti/tomato sauce thing.
Enter Rotini with Roasted Peppers, Spinach and Feta, adapted from Cooking Light:
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta — rotini or farfalle work best
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup prechopped onion
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup sliced bottled roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained [I roasted my own — see below]
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta over a bowl; reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. While pasta cooks, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add nuts; cook 4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
[Cut bell peppers — I used yellow and red — in half and place cutside down on a baking sheet. Broil until blackened. Remove from oven and seal in a Ziploc bag for 10 minutes. Remove, peel off skin and slice.]
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, raisins, and garlic; cook 8 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers; cook 4 minutes or until heated, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid; cook 1 minute, stirring to combine. Remove from heat; stir in feta, mint, basil, spinach and black pepper. Sprinkle with nuts.