Who says healthy, delicious meals have to be time consuming? As I’ve mentioned before, I like to have several recipes that are incredibly easy and fast for nights when I simply do not have the time for a complicated dinner. My goal for these recipes is that they take less time to prepare and make than it would take me to preheat the oven and cook a frozen pizza- about 20 minutes. This recipe for Lemon Spinach Pasta is ready in about the time it takes you to make the pasta, because almost everything else is done while the pasta is cooking. Simply heat water for pasta, add the pasta, and wilt your spinach into the garlic and lemon mixture while the pasta cooks. Then, stir your cooked pasta together with the spinach mixture and add some shaved Parmesan cheese. Simple and delicious.
I like to make a bigger batch of this than necessary, and then just take the extra pasta for lunch the next day. If you want a light dinner, this dish stands on it’s own very well, or would be delicious with a salad or soup. Because this dish is so easy and fast, it also works as a side dish for a more complicated meal (or an easy meal that looks complicated!). This lemony pasta goes very well with seafood, such as these Lobster Tails with Cayenne Butter Sauce.
Looking for other quick dinners? Check out these:
Lemon Spinach Pasta
- 4 servings dry pasta (I prefer pipe rigate or bow tie, but use the pasta you prefer)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 TB butter (or sub olive oil)
- large bunch of flat leaf spinach (I usually start with 2-3 big handfuls and end up adding more as it cooks down)
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- salt + pepper to taste
- fresh basil
- grated Parmesan cheese to serve (or sub vegan parmesan)
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook al dente-- this means you'll stop cooking it 1-2 minutes BEFORE the package directions tell you too.
In large pan, sauté butter on medium heat, 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spinach. Lower heat to low. Cover pan and allow spinach to wilt, tossing occasionally.
When pasta is done cooking, use tongs or pasta serving spoon to pull pasta straight out of the water, gently shake off excess water, and set it into the pot with the spinach. Toss pasta with spinach on low heat, incorporating sauce with pasta, and allowing spinach to finish wilting.
Add fresh herbs generously. Add pepper to taste. Serve pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Adapted from: Taste of Home