I have the easiest dinner idea for you today!
It’s perfect for meatless Monday.
It’s ideal for using up some of the pantry staples we inevitably have all stocked up on.
It’s made with a limited ingredients list.
AND it comes together in 30 minutes.
Oh, and most importantly, it’s DELISH.
Yup, we’re winning on all fronts with this one.
I, unlike a lot of people, did not go nuts with the pasta aisle when it was time to go into lock down mode, but I DID already have a well-stocked pantry in the pasta department. I had boxes upon boxes of pasta, and when I did a quick inventory and realized just how much pasta I had, I decided it was time to throw together a quick and easy meal for all of you.
This simple pasta dish comes together with a lemony-garlicky olive oil sauce, baby spinach, and cheese. Creamy goat cheese, to be exact. Oh, and parmesan! Because I can’t eat pasta without some parm thrown into the mix.
This type of meal always amazes me. It’s so simple and still has incredible flavor. This particular dish has some health thrown into the mix in the way of whole wheat pasta (you can use whatever kind you like!) and loads of baby spinach, garlic, olive oil, and fresh lemon. Really, the most indulgent part of things is the cheese, and even that isn’t anything crazy.
So, you can feel pretty good about serving this to your family during this uncertain time. I take comfort in knowing that I am still feeding my family and using healthy, nutritious ingredients. It’s not lost on me how fortunate I am to be able to do this. Especially right now.
And even though it feels like the cooking is ENDLESS right now – I mean, I’m cooking for four all day long, every day – it still brings me such comfort. It’s something I have control over, and it distracts me from more worrying things.
I do miss going out to eat and getting take out (which we still do from time to time), but I am loving cooking through my pantry and fridge, using up what I can find and create new recipes based off our usual staples.
That’s how this meal came to be – and as soon as I tasted it, I knew I needed to share it with you all!Print
This Lemony Pasta with Spinach & Goat Cheese comes together in a half hour, uses a limited ingredients list, and tastes like heaven! A garlicky and lemony olive oil sauce coats the noodles and wilted spinach and creamy goat cheese add health and heft! A simple but delicious meal!
- 1 lb pasta (any shape you prefer! We went with whole wheat rotini)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 4 cups baby spinach
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts (or other nut of choice)
- Chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until el dente, according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.
- After a minute or so, add the baby spinach and cook for a few minutes or until it is wilted and tender.
- Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Add the pasta to the skillet with the spinach. Toss well to combine. Add another drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Toss and then add a little bit of the pasta water, continuing to toss until everything is well combined and moistened.
- Grate in the parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed.
- Right before serving, top with crumbled goat cheese, toasted nuts, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Serve hot.
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: pasta
Keywords: quick and easy pasta, pasta with spinach and goat cheese, pantry staple recipes, easy dinner ideas, 30 minute meals, healthy pasta recipe