Easy and perfect with fresh from the garden veggies, this Pasta with Fresh Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic is great as a main course or side dish.
It’s become pretty standard that I’m reposting old blog posts on Thursdays. Lots of very old recipes with very bad photos that are just crying for a redo. But how do I choose? This one was easy; I received a nice comment from a reader on how much they loved this Pasta with Fresh Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic so I checked the post and son of a gun; some REALLY old photos.
Back in 2011 I was still taking much smaller landscape type (horizontal) photos. Not only did the photos need a redo but I needed to use up a ton of cherry tomatoes so timing was perfect. My cherry tomato plants are weird this year; I’m picking tomatoes that can’t be more than a quarter inch across. The two cups needed for this dish? I’m thinking it had no less than 35-40 tomatoes included!
Luckily I had everything else I needed on hand too and I was quickly on my way. The original recipe came from my friend Renee over at the blog Flamingo Musings and it’s become a family favorite. While I normally mix up something in a recipe; this one stays in tune with the original. I used green onions this time but only because I mistakenly bought them at two different stores the other day when I was doing grocery shopping…use them or lose them, that’s my motto.
This is one of those ‘so up my alley’ dishes; I’ve been cooking pasta with vegetables for years, long before it became popular or trendy. I have always loved the Pasta con Broccoli dish that is from a cookbook that belonged to my mother from the late 1950’s and my propensity to combine the two was solidified the year we had a bumper zucchini crop. I was DESPERATE to find something new to do with zucchini and into pasta it went.
It was prophetic when I first published this recipe that I had just received a box of beautiful homegrown garlic. For all the garlic I’ve had in my life, I have never known the person who grew it, but this time I did! A friend of mine lives in California and has a huge garden. I do believe I literally begged her to send me some; I think I was kidding but she was not. Look at that beautiful garlic. Thanks Carolyn. I still need to try growing my own!
So simple, so fresh and best of all? So easy to make. This is always a hit; it’s gorgeous and delicious!
PIN ‘Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes’
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 head of garlic, roasted
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 medium onion, cut into large dice
- 1 box Bow-tie pasta
- 6 oz baby spinach (I had a pre-washed bag of spinach I used, it was a 6 oz package.
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Put half of the olive oil, roasted garlic cloves (see Notes for more info) and balsamic vinegar into a small food processor or a small bowl. Process or mash until the garlic is no longer large pieces.
- Put the remaining oil and the butter into a saucepan with chopped onions, a pinch of salt and and some fresh ground pepper; cook the onion until translucent and starting to brown; add the garlic/oil mixture and thoroughly incorporate with the onions. Remove to bowl.
- Using the same pot, fill with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions til al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
- Add the uncooked baby spinach and the onion/garlic/oil mixture to the pot and toss together.
- On medium heat, add the diced tomatoes, stirring to combine. Heat for an additional 2 minutes; stirring constantly.
- Serve in bowls with fresh grated Parmesan cheese grated on top.
I used a bowl of fresh from the garden cherry tomatoes that I just had to cut in half. They were perfect but you could also dice larger tomatoes.
I just love how roasting garlic makes it so sweet. Here's how:
Peel off any loose paper on garlic bulbs you want to roast but don't separate the cloves; keeping the bulb form.
Cut off the top of the bulb exposing the raw cloves.
Put the bulbs into a heatproof dish and drizzle each one with some olive oil.
Salt and pepper each bulb.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325 for one hour. Cloves should be lightly brown.
When cool, simply squeeze the cloves out of the bulb.