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[This Lemon Garlic Pasta with Fresh Vegetables and Feta is a perfect dinner for when you want to make a special dish but don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing it. The al dente Barilla® Collezione Orecchiette are the perfect little buttons to hold the lemon and garlic olive oil sauce. Combined with fresh sautéed veggies, this meal is elevated from tasty to absolutely delicious.]
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with what to put on their weekly dinner menus. Most of the time, I’m a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person when it comes to making dinners.
I’ve tried to do meal prepping, meal planning, even grocery shopping for the week with recipes picked out and the best of intentions to make certain meals on certain days. But, my plans are usually better in theory than they are in my kitchen after a long day at work.
My husband and I bought our first house together this summer of 2018 and we have been working on it together for a few months making improvements. Our first wedding anniversary is less than two weeks away and I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to make dinners more special for the two of us. It’s the one time during the day where we can unwind, talk about how our day went or scheme about what kind of house projects we’ll be tackling in the upcoming weeks. Dinner time is our time to just relax.
I headed to our local Shoprite for our weekly grocery shopping and picked up a box of Barilla®Collezione Orecchiette and a box of Barilla® Collezione Spaghetti along with the other fresh produce items I needed for this recipe.
I love that their artisanal pasta is available at my regular grocery store and that I don’t have to go to a specialty store to get my hands on amazingly crafted pasta. The Collezione line is made with non-GMO ingredients too, which is an added bonus!
Did you know that Barilla®has 6 artisanal pasta shapes in the Collezione line and that they are crafted with traditional Italian bronze plates? Collezione is Barilla®’s premium pasta that is perfect for elevating your pasta a step above your typical dish – for those everyday nights where you just want things to be a little…special.
I had no idea you would be able to taste the difference in the pasta texture, but once I bit into the perfectly al dente orecchiette, I could almost swear it was a homemade pasta. Had I not poured it out of the box myself, I would have believed it was a handcrafted pasta made fresh that day.
There’s currently a SavingStar offer available (from 09/06/2018 to 11/26/2018) where you can receive a $5 reward for $15 spent on Barilla®Collezione products. I created a SavingStar login and browsed the site a bit to view the offers and it’s very simple to choose your favorite retailers and either snap a photo of your receipt or connect store loyalty cards for the deal to automatically process. If there’s a way to save money, I love to know about it!
If you plan on stocking up on all the fabulous Barilla®Collezione artisanal pasta shapes for meals that you want to make special, make sure you get your reward for it!
This recipe is a nod to a delicious salad I had while my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Jamaica. At the end of a long and indulgent week, all I wanted was something that had vegetables and a fresh flavor to it. The salad was a delightful marriage of romaine lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and feta cheese with a bright and zippy vinaigrette.
I adapted the ingredients of that salad into a fun and flavorful pasta dish with a lemon and garlic olive oil sauce. Once the veggies were sautéed a bit, they were the perfect complement to the al dente orecchiette. I seriously COULD NOT stop obsessing over how much the pasta felt like a fresh homemade pasta.
The lemon and garlic sauce adds a wonderful depth of flavor and the feta cheese brings the right amount of tanginess to the dish. The olives round out the pasta dish with their briny flavor and the sweet cherry tomatoes are only slightly warmed so they are still bursting with flavor when you bite into them. Garlic sautéed spinach is one of my favorite ways to prepare spinach, so it just felt right for this recipe.
Although this recipe is meant to be prepared as a hot pasta dish, the leftovers are delightful either reheated or chilled, as this recipe is very similar to a fresh and bright pasta salad.
Have you tried any Barilla® Collezione pastas yet? What’s your favorite pasta shape?
Lemon Garlic Pasta with Fresh Vegetables and Feta
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 6 ounces Barilla® Orecchiette
- 1/4 cup black or kalamata olives sliced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Italian parsley for garnish
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, bring water to a boil. Prepare pasta according to directions on box – cook 1 minute less for the perfect al dente texture. Drain pasta, return to pot or another bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a separate frying pan add olive oil and lemon juice. Heat over a medium high flame.
- Mince garlic, slice olives, halve tomatoes and dice red onion. Add garlic and onion to olive oil and lemon juice mixture and cook until garlic and onions are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add fresh spinach and cook until wilted, about another 2 minutes.
- Add halved tomatoes and sliced olives to the pan of sauce and vegetables. Cook until tomatoes begin to soften slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Lower the flame to a medium-low flame and add the pasta to the frying pan. Toss pasta with sauce and vegetables until well coated.
- Remove pan from heat. Portion out servings on plates or in bowls and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.
- If desired, add chopped parsley. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste.