Thursday, September 6, 2012

Anything Goes Pasta

Sometimes I plan out recipes for every day of the week and have all my ingredients ready to go before I cook each meal. Lately, however, I have not been in the mood to plan meals or even cook. I usually get in a weird funk at the end of each season, ready for the next to start. I am eagerly anticipating cooler temperatures while summer is hanging on for dear life.

The other night I needed a quick meal and only had some odds and ends on hand in the way of ingredients. I just sort of threw everything together and it actually turned out pretty well - light and bright with the fresh tastes of summer. It's a very adaptable dish and thought I'd share what worked for me.

Anything Goes Pasta
Serves 4-6

1/2 box or more pasta of your choice (I had some mini bowties in the pantry so that's what I used)
2 cups tomatoes (I roasted mine at 425 for 15 minutes and topped with basil before adding to pasta)
1/4 cup peas
Big handful of spinach leaves, torn into small pieces
1 T chia seeds (optional, but I love to add them to everything to get my omega 3's)
2-3 T butter or margarine
1T olive oil
1 lemon, zested
1/2 lemon, juiced

1) Cook pasta according to package instructions. Roast your tomatoes at this time if you choose to do so.
2) While pasta is cooking, make the sauce by first melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the olive oil, lemon zest (you can just zest the lemon right into the pan), and lemon juice and keep sauce warm while pasta finishes up.
3) Drain pasta and add the spinach immediately so the warm pasta will start to wilt the spinach. Add the tomatoes, peas, and chia seeds. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat and combine all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This is just a quick version I came up with, but really anything goes. If you don't like peas, leave them out or add in another bean (next time I'll try cannellini beans - I think they'd go really well with the bright lemony flavors). If you want some crunch, toasted walnuts would be a great addition. If you don't have pasta on hand, I think rice would be a good alternative.

Experiment and have fun!



  1. YUMMY!!! What I love the most about reading your recipes is how simple and easy they are to whip together and come out with a beautiful dish. Of course, they look tasty, too!

    1. Aww, thanks! I really try to keep it simple and easy, especially in the summertime. Usually come fall I'm ready to spend more time in the kitchen and try more involved dishes. But it has been so hot lately that I don't want to stand over a hot stove all night long!


Thank you so much for visiting! We enjoy reading each and every one of your lovely comments.