Zesty Pasta in 11 Minutes or Less

by zesty on April 18, 2011 · 1 comment

Happy Monday morning to you.  Or let’s at least hope it is a happy Monday.  It’s Easter week which is kind of exciting, shortened work week, chocolate everywhere and a bunny will be hopping by the house soon enough.  Ever not feel like making dinner and ordering out but you don’t want to order out cause you are too lazy to get dressed and go pick it up?  That was like me last night.  I had no energy to venture outside and drive to get a yummy take out meal, possibly Lebanese food, maybe a little taste of china or even one of my staple choices of Swiss Chalet chicken.  Instead I opted for a vegetarian pasta that was super simple yet flavorful.

It started out with fresh ingredients as any great dish should, coupled by a few distinct flavors, garlic and basil and blossomed from there with a hint of parmesan cheese and the juice of ripened tomatoes.  It was GOOD.


  • Penne Pasta ( cooked according to directions )
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 Cups spinach
  • 1 Clove garlic ( Minced)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine nuts
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 10-12 Cherry  Tomatoes
  • 6-7 Mushrooms
  • 1 Handful of fresh basil


  1. Cook pasta according to directions; Heat a large frying pan or wok and add the olive oil
  2. Begin to saute the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and pine nuts; let cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Toss in tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes; add in spinach, fresh basil and half the Parmesan cheese.
  4. Drain pasta, reserving a little bit of pasta liquid and add noodle to the vegetable mixture.
  5. Toss and add remaining Parmesan cheese
  6. ENJOY!

Zesty Tip: Make sure you salt the water when cooking pasta.  Adding salt to the water will allow the pasta to absorb the flavor while cooking and enhance your dish.   When adding pasta to a sauce or mixture like above, you can sometimes under cook the pasta by a minute or two as it will continue cooking in the sauce.

Nothing fancy, nothing astounding, just a dish that will satisfy you in 11 minutes or less and keep you in your pajamas on a wet and windy Sunday night.  Isn’t that really how I roll?  Straight from the hip and a dish for everyone.  This was actually very tasty.  I added some fresh cracked black pepper at the very end which accompanied the cheese very well.

Have a super start to your week and I will be chatting with you again mid week.

Take care


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