Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Olives

Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Olives

For some reason we don't really eat a lot of pasta.  I think I tend to prefer Asian flavors just a little more. However, occasionally a nice bowl of spaghetti is just what I am craving!  This recipe is a twist on the typical spaghetti with red sauce.  Instead of red sauce, there are hunks of sun dried tomatoes.  Toasted garlic, olives, and feta cheese all add tons of flavor.  Spinach adds color and nutrients.  This meal comes together quickly, and is delicious and satisfying.

Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Olives

People who don't eat a lot of vegetarian meals often have misconceptions about how much protein are in different foods.  Some might think that only meat, dairy products, beans, and nuts have protein in them.   A lot of people don't realize that whole grains can also have a fair amount of protein as well.  For example, the 100% whole grain spaghetti used for this meal has 9 grams of protein per 2 ounce serving.  If you  have 3 ounces of pasta, which I often do, that's now almost 14 grams of protein.  So while this meal might not appear to have protein, and it certainly doesn't have as much protein as a meal full of meat, there's actually a fair amount.  Besides the protein in the pasta, there's also protein in the cheese and even a few grams of protein in the vegetables.   I guess what I figure is that if I have lots of real foods (and not much processed junk), I will actually end up with enough protein even if I go days without meat.

If you need a quick yet flavorful meal, I highly recommend this tasty pasta dish.  Hope you enjoy!

Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Olives

Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Olives

serves: 4


  • 1 (12 oz) box whole wheat spaghetti (or other pasta or choice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced (about 20 garlic cloves)
  • 3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil), rinsed and roughly chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon oil from sun dried tomatoes jar
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 4 cups packed spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (plus more if desired)
  • salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


1)  Cook spaghetti in a pot of water according to time specified on package. No need to add salt to the water.  Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta.

2)  While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until it simmers.  Add sliced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes until golden.  Transfer garlic to paper towels to drain off excess oil.

3)  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes over medium-high heat. Add the chopped tomatoes, olives, spinach, and balsamic vinegar.  Stir and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

4)  Toss spaghetti with the sun dried tomato mixture.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the pasta water so the spaghetti has the right consistency.  Add more of the water if desired.  Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

5) Serve warm, sprinkled with feta cheese and toasted garlic.

(recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

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