Recipe Test: Farfalle with Tomatoes, Onions, and Spinach

I found this recipe in the July, 2010, issue of Cooking Light.  It's an easy-to-put-together vegetarian dish, and it can be a one dish meal.  However, I liked it with Cooking Light's suggested accompaniment of Olive Flatbread, which I'll tell you about at the end of this post.  For now, here's the recipe for the pasta:

Farfalle with Tomatoes, Onions, and Spinach

Servings: 4
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces uncooked farfalle pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil -- divided
1 cup vertically sliced yellow onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 garlic cloves -- sliced
2 cups grape tomatoes -- halved
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (3 oz.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions; drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and oregano; saute 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and vinegar; saute 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Add pasta and spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with feta.

I am not fond of feta cheese, and so I substituted crumbled goat cheese with good results.  (Feta makes me sweata.)  If you're a fan of feta, by all means, use it as the recipe suggests.

As for the Olive Flatbread, I was surprised at how good this was.  I've never been able to find any other kind of refrigerated pizza dough than the Pillsbury Pop-N-Fresh kind, which is of questionable quality.  I decided to give this a try anyway, and it was really tasty.  It's a good accompaniment to this pasta dish.  Here's how I did it:

First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Next, unroll the pizza dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or unlined--it doesn't matter).  Then combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 minced garlic clove.  Brush the mixture over the dough.  Then sprinkle the dough with 1/3 cup of chopped kalamata olives.  Then, (and here's where I changed the original recipe) I sprinkled the dough with 1 teaspoon of Italian herb seasoning mix (such as McCormick).  Then, bake it at 450 degrees for 11 minutes or until it's done.  The recipe suggests sprinkling the bread with fresh thinly sliced basil after removing it from the oven.  I kind of liked the more intense flavor of the Italian herb seasoning mix.  The strong flavor of the herbs, olives, and red pepper flakes disguised the biscuit-like flavor and texture of the pizza dough.  I really liked it!  I hope you like it too!

1 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

What a tasty and easy summer dish that’s filling and yet light ?~?~ You have found a good one here, Ms Barbara, we may have it for dinner here, too.