I’ve been getting crafty in the kitchen lately. Or “resourceful” is probably the operative word. As I have been getting settled in my new apartment (which is slowly beginning to feel more like home), I have been adjusting to my cozy, but teeny kitchen as well. While I haven’t been cooking as much as I am used to, I have been making a conscious effort to do so when I can.
Of course, having food on hand is also somewhat essential to the cooking process and I have been a carrot and hummus sort of diet for the last couple weeks. So, the other night, I walked a mile to the nearby Tom Thumb thinking naively that it would be a good idea to add in some exercise to my grocery run. However, I did not plan for the walk back as I lugged two plastic bags stuffed with odds and ends in the 90-degree weather. By the time I got back and unpacked my groceries, I realized I had bought feta, berries, and kombucha – all of which I love, but none of which could pass for dinner.
Desperately, I looked for anything edible in my fridge. I felt like a contestant on Chopped when I laid out the ingredients I had found in front of me. Frozen Peas. Spinach. Parm. Shells. And so the adventure began.
Shockingly, I created something I would happily make again, and in only 15 minutes! This simple pasta dish is effortlessly easy to make and packed full of protein and other nutrients!
Because I am gluten-free, I opted for Banza chickpea pasta which is a great alternative that still has that “toothy” or al dente quality of traditional pasta.
To accompany the pasta, I tossed it in a quick pasta “sauce” that I whipped together with peas and spinach. Do not underestimate the power of frozen peas my friend! With polyphenol antioxidants, omega-3’s, a myriad of vitamins, and anti-inflammatory powers, peas are an excellent nutrient to add to any meal. Combined with iron and folate-rich spinach, this simple pasta dish gives back to your body and perfectly filling!
- 1 package of Banza pasta (or pasta of choice)
- 10 oz baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (thawed ahead of time)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Calories per serving: 424 cal
Number of servings: 4
- Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Also, pre-heat a small pan on medium-low heat alongside to use for sauteeing the spinach.
- As the water heats up, thaw your frozen peas in the microwave according to package instructions.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until all ingredients are incorporated. Set this aside.*Note: you may need to stir again before adding it to the pasta as the ingredients tend to separate.
- When the water is brought to a full boil, add the pasta and cook for 10-12 min. (will vary if using a different pasta)
- When the pasta is halfway through cooking, add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the pan you pre-heated and add in the spinach. Sauteé for 2-3 min until the greens are almost, but not completely wilted. Take the pan off the burner and let the spinach rest while you return to the pasta.
- Rinse and drain the pasta, and return to the pot. Add in the spinach and 2 cups of the peas.
- Stir in the olive oil mixture and incorporate all ingredients together.
- Serve and top off each portion with additional parmesan!
If making this just for yourself, you can cook the full recipe and store the remainder in the fridge. This pasta is great served cold the next day!
Summer pasta is definitely a thing and I’m here for it! Thanks for reading and happy cooking!