Fresh Spinach and Vegetable Pasta

Ingredients

500 g (1lb) penne pasta (or similar large hardy noodle)

Pasta with spinach and salty cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

10-15 sun dried tomatoes in oil chopped (not too small)

6-8 cloves of garlic thinly sliced

2 medium sized zucchinis quartered and sliced

2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes quartered

Salt and ground pepper

A pinch of dried oregano

A pinch of dried basil, or a few shredded fresh basil leaves

300 g (10 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves washed

200 g (7oz) Tzfatit cheese or any hard white salty cheese diced into small cubes

Water from the pasta pot

Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

How to do it

  1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet or wok and turn the gas to medium high. Add the sun dried tomatoes, zucchini and garlic and saute till the zucchini starts getting soft (about 5 minutes), stirring every now and again.
  2. Make the pasta in a large pot of salted water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, add the tomatoes and herbs to the skillet and allow to simmer on low heat till the tomatoes start breaking down. After the tomatoes are softened, add about a cup of the water from the pasta pot to the skillet, and stir and continue to simmer for a few minutes, until the pasta is cooked. Add just enough liquid so that you start getting a sauce, but don’t add too much water so that you dilute the flavors.
  4. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet or wok (if it’s big enough; if not, return the pasta to the post and add the vegetables to the pot.)
  5. Add the spinach leaves. The heat from the pasta and the sauce will wilt the leaves. If you are using a heavier spinach leaf, then keep the flame on low heat only just until the spinach is wilted – you don’t want to over cook the spinach.
  6. Add the slaty cheese and toss together, and sprinkle some parmesan over the top to serve. Serve immediately. (You can make the first part of the sauce ahead of time – till step 4).

Serves about 6.