Sunday, June 14, 2009

Spring Pasta

My brother sent me a recipe for a pasta dish using local ingredients from around his home in Germany. Unfortunately, it isn't quite as easy to get the same things around my town as his. So I made some substitutions based on what we had at our local farmers market. The result was fantastic. Use what is in season and what has been processed the least amount as possible for the freshest flavors.

Thank you to my brother for the great recipe! I look forward to trying yours as you've written.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Spring Pasta
Serves 2

3 1/2 oz penne (tube shaped pasta) or radiatori (nugget shaped pasta)
1 cup rough chopped baby spinach, stems and all*
1/2 cup diced vine ripe tomatoes
2 1/2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
sea salt
fresh cracked black or lemon pepper
juices squeezed from 1/2 lemon
1/2-1 tsp olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Return to hot pan tossing with remaining ingredients. Allow spinach to wilt slightly. Serve immediately.

*My brother's recipe calls for arugula. It is not in season yet where I live so I used baby spinach. Arugula is a peppery green with lemon undertones which is why I added lemon pepper and lemon juice.

You can easily add navy, pinto, or black beans to this dish to have a more substantial dish. Another protein option: 2 oz leftover, grilled sirloin steak. Simply dice small and toss with pasta.


  1. Hi, Becca! This reminds me of the pasta primavera I used to eat when I was stationed in southern Italy about 15 years ago. ("Pasta Primavera" = "Spring Pasta".)

    In Naples, the specific pasta for this was *almost* always penne. Usually arugula, but I remember having dandelion greens, once. The cheese was almost invariably mozzarella. (I don't think the Napolitani believe any other cheese exists. ;))

  2. The original recipe did call for penne, but I didn't have any on hand. Also, the cheese that I used was not feta (which is sheep's milk, if I recall correctly), but a soft goat cheese. More like the Boursin cheese you can find in the grocery store.

    The dandelion greens sounds like an interesting twist!

  3. Yes, I meant to denote the cheese thing too. I must have missed it, Thank you!