"Farfalle" in Italian means butterflies..and that's exactly what these little pastas look like. What a perfect dish to celebrate that we are finally out of winter and into spring. Now if we can just get the weather to cooperate here in Seattle. We got a little tease of some warm weather last week, the daffodil's and tulips are brightening up the gardens around town, and the cherry trees are in full bloom. Today, however, it's cloudy and raining...so probably no REAL butterfly sightings. But no worries, this super easy, super healthy farfalle pasta dish with fresh spinach, arugula,tomatoes, feta, and some toasted pinenuts SCREAMS sunny days! ( and healthy easy meal options!)
Start by toasting the pinenuts. Really easy to do and brings out the natural oils which produce a more nutty flavor and yummy crunch.
I like to toast them on the stove top. Just heat up a dry pan ( no oil, or spray required) for a couple of minutes on the stove, add the Pinenuts and allow them to toast for approx 30-40 second, and then toss them in the pan. Toast for another 30 seconds or so and toss them again. Repeat this process until you see the pinenuts getting nice and toasty brown. Remove from the pan and let them cool.
With only a few simple, healthy ingredients this meal comes together in no time!
Farfalle Pasta with Fresh Spinach, Arugula, Tomatoes, Feta and Pinenuts
- 8 oz. farfalle pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup fresh arugula
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- olive oil for drizzling on pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta in heavily salted water (my Italian friends tell me this is the secret to really good pasta) for the recommended time on pasta package. (read steps 3 &4 before discarding water)
- Place the feta in a medium bowl and top with spinach and arugula.
- Before draining the pasta, take ¼ cup of the cooking water and pour it over the spinach/arugula/feta. Spinach and arugula will wilt slightly and cheese will get soft.
- Place the cut tomatoes in a colander and drain the pasta over the tomatoes for a super quick blanche.
- Add the pasta and tomatoes to the feta/spinach/arugula. Toss to mix all ingredients.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and toasted pine nuts
this pasta is also really good with pesto, just mix in a couple of spoonfuls of prepared pasta for a yummy variation.