This pasta dish is the perfect spring-has-sprung lunch. It’s light. It’s easy. And it tastes like, well, spring. I made it using ingredients most of us have at home already. Some spinach in the fridge. A lemon. And pasta. I used fresh pasta for this recipe, but that’s only because my local grocery store was running a super sale the other week and I stocked up. Any type of your favourite pasta will do.
Fun fact of the day
Rich in iron, calcium, vitamins A and C, plus many more, this Popeye food grows all over the world. China is the world’s leading exporter, but we grow a ton of it right here in Canada. Up to 1,700 acres a year. (For those of you like me who don’t understand how much that is, that’s 75,000,000 square feet or approximately 62 Polo Park malls in size.)
- 3 cloves garlic (more or less, depending on what you like)
- 1 lemon for zest, plus half for juice
- 5 cups spinach (uncooked)
- 375 g pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
- Thoroughly wash, dry and roughly chop the spinach, and set aside.
- Put a large pot of water on to boil.
- As water comes to boil, chop garlic and zest the lemon. I used a simple cheese grater to do the job.
- When water boils, add a generous amount of salt (as Anna del Conte — by way of Nigella Lawson — says, when cooking pasta the water should be as salty as the Mediterranean). Add your favourite pasta and cook as per instructions.
- Heat olive oil in a pan on medium. Add garlic, and sautée, careful not to let it burn.
- Add 3/4 of the lemon zest and juice of half a lemon. Salt and pepper to taste.
- By this point, your pasta should be cooked. Turn the heat off under the garlic. Throw in the spinach. Drain the pasta (but don’t throw out all the water!) and add it to the spinach and garlic. The heat from the pasta will cause the leaves to wilt a bit. Add a ladel of the reserved pasta water and give everything a good toss.
- Add remaining lemon zest, and a good extra splash of olive oil if you desire. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Paolo Zinatelli is a writer for Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @paoloz5