Triple Green Pasta

This is not so much a recipe as an outline for an easy pasta meal; this one is triple green: spinach, parsley and buttery Castelvetrano green olives.

Triple Green Pasta | Teaspoonofspice.com

UPDATE: If you like this recipe, we’ve included it in our book The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook and more like recipes it – you can buy our book on Amazon here (affiliate link.) Also, you can see Serena cooking this very recipe in the Barilla Test Kitchens on this Facebook Live – whoot!
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There’s no doubt that if March was a color, it would be green. These days, we all could benefit by eating more greens so here’s our trifecta green dish that is easy to whip up and versatile enough to feature any green you’d like.

I easily make pasta 2 -3 times a week, the type of meal I don’t really need a recipe for and can use what’s on hand whether it be greens, tomatoes, beans, onions, chicken, shrimp… you get the picture. Plus, for the most part it’s a guaranteed dish my picky husband and 5 year old will eat.

Today’s triple greens:
Baby spinach – If you’ve cooked leafy greens before, you know how much they wilt down during the cooking process – a huge bunch of spinach could easily be eaten by one person! I love add freshly grated nutmeg when sautéing spinach – a super flavor combo that you must try.

Italian parsley – also known as flat-leaf, this is the usual garnish (along with grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese) for most of my pasta meals.

Castelvetrano green olives – My most favorite olives from Sicily. Big, bright green and buttery, these are also fairly mild – if you think you don’t like olives (i.e. the kind stuffed with pimentos), try these and you may change your mind!

 

Triple Green Pasta | Teaspoonofspice.com

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Triple Green Pasta

Triple Green Pasta | Teaspoonofspice.com

This is not so much a recipe as an outline for an easy pasta meal; this one is triple green: spinach, parsley and buttery Castelvetrano green olives.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ounces penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, including stems
  • 67 cups baby spinach (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 1/3 cup Castelvetrano green olives (or other green olives), pitted and sliced (about 12)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, cook the pasta according to package directions, but boil 1 minute less than instructed. Drain the pasta, and save 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the parsley and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the spinach, nutmeg, pepper, and salt, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Add the pasta and the reserved 1/4 cup pasta water to the skillet. Stir in the olives, and cook for about 2 minutes, until most of the pasta water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese, and serve.

Notes

In summer, substitute chopped zucchini for the spinach, and in winter, try chopped kale or shredded cabbage. The trick is to undercook the pasta by about a minute so when it’s added to the pan sauce, it soaks up all the flavors of the garlic and spices.

What are your favorite greens to cook? Do you have a favorite green combo?

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