Greek Feta Pasta
- 1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1 (12-oz.) box penne rigate pasta
- 2 (10.5-oz.) packages cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 1 rounded t. oregano
- 1 rounded t. thyme
- ½ rounded t. dried dill weed
- 1 lb. brine-packed Feta cheese
- 2 T. olive oil
Thaw spinach. If not thawed over time, it can be thawed in the microwave for 10 minutes on low power. Once thawed, put it in a colander and squeeze excess moisture out of it by pressing it with your fist against the bowl.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. (Rinse if it calls for it.)
While the water for the pasta heats, halve the tomatoes and chop the green onions, including stems, into ¼-inch lengths. Add chopped tomatoes, green onions, drained spinach, oregano, thyme and dill weed to a large mixing bowl and stir.
Drain the Feta cheese and crumble it into a separate bowl. Drain pasta in a colander once it’s done.
As pasta cooking nears completion (3 or 4 minutes left), in a large pan (like a wok or chicken fryer or a 5-quart pot), heat the 2 T. olive oil. When oil is hot, add tomato-spinach mixture to it and sauté until it’s hot. Tomato skins will start to curl back or wrinkle a bit when they’re hot. Add pasta to the vegetable mix and fold in well. Once it’s hot, turn off the heat. Then, add and fold in the crumbled Feta cheese.
You can use 10-12 chopped romas (3 to 3½ cups) instead of cherry tomatoes. It is important to use brine-packed feta in this recipe. Non-brined, pre-crumbled feta is too weak in flavor to make this dish a stand-out. This dish also makes a great side dish or party contribution. It can be halved for smaller families and can be made gluten-free by choosing gluten-free pasta. Serve with hot rolls for a great, fast weeknight meal.
Lisa Wieland via email