Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gluten Free Spicy Spinach Pasta

Earlier this week I was craving a quick and easy pasta. For being a Sicilian girl, you'd think I would crave pasta all the time, but honestly, I don't. I only eat it once every few months, but when I do, I usually go for a splurge item that I normally wouldn't make or eat. A girl's gotta live a little. The next day I always regret all of those carbs and ooey gooey cheese, but it's always so worth it. Nothing an extra hard workout and tons of water the next day won't cure. 

Needless to say, this recipe won't make you feel like you need the extra work out. It's super simple, super easy and can be thrown together in about 10 minutes. Yes, I said 10 minutes. Move over Rachael Ray, we've got a 10 minute meal here! None of this 30 minute stuff. Who wants to spend 30 minutes or more in the kitchen after a long day at work? I know I sure don't and I bet you don't either. Here's all that there is to it. Bring a pot of water to a boil (don't forget to salt the water!) and toss in your noodles (you can use regular noodles here if you want, but then again, that wouldn't make it gluten free). While the noodles are boiling, in a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes together. Just a word of advice, go easy on the red pepper flakes at first. I got a little pepper happy and my mouth was on fire when I was eating this. Not that it was bad, it was just spicy. Maybe you like that, but I like to taste my food when I eat it. Just saying.

Once the noodles are done, make sure to reserve a little bit (about 1/4 cup) of starchy cooking water. You may want this to create more of a sauce. It is up to you though. I always do it, but you don't have to do what I do. Pour the noodles into the bowl, add in the spinach, sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese and you have dinner ready. That quick. That easy. It's surprisingly fresh and lemony, but with a kick of heat. I would totally make this one again, but with less red pepper flakes of course.


measured out

make sure to salt the pasta water!

oil, lemon juice, s&p, red pepper flakes

save some of that starchy liquid

everything in the bowl and toss

ready to eat!

Gluten Free Spicy Spinach Pasta (slightly adapted from

3 cups cooked gluten-free spiral pasta
1 heaping cup baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons roasted and salted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, coarse cracked black pepper, and red chili flakes to taste
splash of starchy pasta water (optional)

Let’s keep this as simple as possible.  Boil and drain pasta.  While pasta is still hot, toss with spinach, sunflower seeds, cheese, lemon juice,  olive oil,  starchy pasta water (optional) salt, and two types of pepper.  Toss until spinach is just slightly wilted from the heat of the pasta. Plate and top with bit more cheese.

The original recipe says this makes two big servings, but I was able to get three out of it (those servings were plenty big!). If you are looking for a bit more protein (and eat meat), I think grilled chicken breast slices would go great in this!

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