Creamy Tomato, Feta, and Spinach Pasta: A Mediterranean Delight
Indulge in the flavours of the Mediterranean with this delightful Creamy Tomato, Feta, and Spinach Pasta recipe.
This dish combines the richness of creamy tomato sauce, the tanginess of feta cheese, and the goodness of fresh spinach, all beautifully mingling together to create a pasta experience like no other. Whether you're cooking for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner, this recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. So, grab your apron and prepare for a taste of Mediterranean paradise!
12 ounces (340g) penne pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your spice preference)
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes (fire-roasted for extra flavour, if available)
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half for a lighter version)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish
Cook the Pasta: In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and set aside.
Prepare the Sauce: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, sautéing for about 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Add Tomatoes and Spinach: Pour the diced tomatoes (with their juice) into the skillet, and stir to combine with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together. Then, add the fresh baby spinach leaves to the sauce, and cook until wilted.
Incorporate the Feta and Cream: Stir in the crumbled feta cheese, allowing it to melt slightly into the sauce. Next, pour in the heavy cream (or half-and-half), and let the sauce simmer gently for another 2-3 minutes until it thickens slightly.
Combine the Pasta and Sauce: Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing everything together to coat the pasta evenly. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add a splash of the reserved pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.
Season and Serve: Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh basil leaves for an extra burst of flavour and colour.
Enjoy! Serve the Creamy Tomato, Feta, and Spinach Pasta hot, accompanied by a crisp side salad and a slice of crusty bread. Savour each mouthful, and let the harmonious blend of Mediterranean ingredients transport you to a culinary paradise.