Monday, September 22, 2014

Healthy and Fresh Pasta Salad with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese

Fresh and easy pasta salad, filled with healthy ingredients and Mediterranean flavors

Happy first day of fall!
Even if the temperature cooled down a little bit in the last couple of days, here in Southern California, it doesn't really feel like fall at all. No gray sky and chilly weather. No orange and red leaves (mostly), and no need to snuggle under a blanket around the fireplace... well, I could still do that anyways! Maybe I do miss a bit the change of seasons, as I was used to growing up in Italy. But the sunny and blue skies and perfect beach weather year around is what I love most about Southern California. Nowhere else I lived, I could play tennis and beach volleyball any day of the year!
Yesterday, it was another great day at the beach. The ocean water was still quite warm and boogie boarding was great. After the super hot days last week, I still felt like preparing a picnic lunch very fresh, easy, and requiring very little time around the stove. This dish is filled with healthy ingredients and Mediterranean flavors: organic spinach and tomatoes, fresh ricotta, and some delicious olives .
You can use your favorite olives in this recipe. Anything, like kalamata or Greek olives, with a strong taste that will complement the sweet flavor of the ricotta, tomatoes and spinach. You can also substitute the ricotta with feta cheese for a bolder flavor.
Looks amazing, right?

Ingredients: serving 4
  • about 3 oz of organic fresh baby spinach
  • 2 fresh, organic tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of pitted olives (Kalamata or Greek)
  • 1 cup of fresh ricotta cheese (or feta cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 oz farfalle pasta, or other short pasta, like penne or conchiglie
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, cook the pasta as directed in the box.
Step 2: Cut the spinach in thin strips, cut the tomatoes in small cubes, and slice the olives. Add all in a large bowl. Salt to taste and sprinkle with olive oil.
Step 3: Drain the pasta and run it under cold water to stop from overcooking. Toss in the bowl and mix with all the ingredients. Wait a couple of minutes and mix in the ricotta cheese (or feta) crumbled into pieces.

No comments:

Post a Comment