This has come to be a stand-by meal around here, much like it seems to be for the gal who inspired this recipe. Mr. Animator LOVES pasta, but we try to keep that passion (and our waistlines) in check by remembering that a portion of pasta is 2 oz. He could easily down 8oz, so when I make this, I usually make a half batch so there is some type of portion control.
It's also become a 'lazy night' meal because it's while it's savory, salty, and light yet filling all at the same time - it's also SUPER easy. Basically, if I'm planning a weeks menu and I need something for a crazy day or just can't think of something that sounds good - this gets penciled in. It also gets tossed together when I'm too lazy to cook some grand plan I had, but I have left over spinach. Mmmmm. Easy and good - it's a winner.
I usually use baby spinach (pictured) because I buy it for other stuff and typically have it around. However, in a produce delivery program called 'Fields-Good', I received regular spinach and I gave it a whirl on this recipe. To be honest, it was nice not having to deal with the little baby stems that are such a pain to pinch off. So use whichever you prefer.
Inspired by Kate on Our Best Bites.
1 lb short cut pasta, such as mezzi rigatoni, rotini, or campanelle
2 cans diced tomatoes
6-8 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon EVOO or butter
8 oz feta, crumbled (about 1.5 cups crumbled)
Cook pasta, drain, and return to pan. Add olive oil (or butter) and garlic, then stir to lightly coat the pasta. Add tomatoes, stir, and add spinach. Toss gently to work some of the spinach down into the pasta and tomatoes, and cover for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, top with feta, stir if desired, and serve hot! This is great all by itself or with some garlic bread.