Welcome to the end of the first week of January!
If it was anything like ours, you toughed it out and had a too-much-to-do-list that seemed to always be getting larger. You swallowed hard and powered through the deadlines, grocery trips, organizing, cleaning, and much more. Congratulations! You made it!
At our house, we finally got all the Christmas decorations taken down and did a first (snowy) wave of spring cleaning. (I am still not sure how I managed to store all of our Christmas stuff this year, but just like Hermione’s charmed purse from HP movie 7 Part 1…we got it all in! Woohoo!)
I also made a discovery today. We have elves living with us.
Luckily for us, they leave money everywhere! Unfortunately, that money is always in the form of 5 cents at a time. I found them stashed all over the house! In the laundry, in our bread bowl, in our closet, even underneath the piano. At this rate, we will get a dollar around June. Thank you Nickel Elves!
Other than cleaning house, I have been trying to decide on how to celebrate getting to the weekend & for getting our incredibly long list of to-dos accomplished. As I was thinking, I got distracted by the fact that a couple of our friends just traveled to Italy (among many other amazing destinations-including Greece. Color me incredibly envious!), thus getting a good dose of “Italian food on the brain”. Just thinking of the delicious food, table wines, and Gelato made me really start to miss Italy. The food and art are just about enough to make someone buy a one way ticket and settle in the beautiful Italian countryside. So, I thought to myself, why not bring Italy home? Thus, this pasta was born! We loved it and the fresh herbs & penne made me feel a little closer to the Colosseum. (& yes, it won the “make this again” award!) So, if you want a taste of Italy (or just an escape from the snow) this could be just for you. Enjoy!
- 2 cups Whole Grain Penne Rigate pasta
- 20 Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Thyme
- 2 tablespoons Basil
- 1 cup Spinach (packed), thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked Black Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons crumbled Feta cheese
- For Pasta: Bring 3 qaurts water to a boil in a large saucepan & add pasta. Stir and let it return to a rapid boil. Cook while stirring occasionally until al dente (tender but still slightly firm). Drain well.
- For Herbed Tomatoes & Spinach: In a large mixing bowl add in tomatoes, parsley, thyme, basil & garlic and mix well. Bring a large saute pan to medium heat and add olive oil. Next, spoon tomato mixture into pan and saute for 10 minutes (until tomatoes begin to get wrinkled). Turn heat to low and then add in spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted (about 45 seconds) and then remove from heat.
- In a large serving bowl, mix together pasta and herbed tomatoes. Stir in crumbled feta cheese & serve.