Pasta with Spinach and AlmondsSummer is supposed to be a time for sun, fun, relaxation but four weeks into the summer vacation and all I seem to have done is chauffeur the kids around, spend every waking moment catering to many of their needs….yes, many not all!!! It’s off to some camp or some friend’s house, to the park, the pool….do I need to go on??? Even food is hurried over……I pride myself on my fast meals but it seems as though I have to cook at hyper speed to get food on the table!!!!

The fact that this summer has been hot and humid hasn’t helped either!!! It’s been sandwiches, salads or cold pastas most of the time. I have a few pasta recipes that so ridiculously easy that it’s probably a mistake to even call them recipes. So why am I devoting a post to such a dish, you ask??? Well, for one I want to share this dish with the world and there are some people who prefer to have a written recipe.

Its basically cooked pasta tossed with garlic, chili flakes, almonds and arugula. The kids find the arugula bitter and do not eat it so I knew a substitution was in order. I recently came across fresh baby spinach at the supermarket and figured spinach being so delicate would be perfect. I did a smidgen of chili flakes to the batch that I made for V and I……lets face it I cannot cook without it!!!! A little pasta water gives it a slightly saucy consistency and lemon juice just elevates the whole dish. In my house, cheese is not preferred but some Parmesan or Pecorino Romano would be a lovely addition. You can use arugula whose bitterness is a perfect foil for the pasta and buttery pine nuts instead of the spinach and almonds.

Pasta with Spinach and Almonds

I have working really hard to improve my photography and its hard to work out your angles and aperture when you have 3 little ones running around trying to help you finish fast so that we can all eat!!! I cannot count the number of pictures that have tiny fingers in the corners or a head leaning over …….I love the fact that they are so interested and involved, even my oldest who is going thru the phase where being blasé about everything is cool!!!!

Anyway, I digress…..this was one of those cases where I could not produce an amazing picture even if it killed me…..for one I couldn’t come up with the ideal setting, nothing seemed right, my angles were not working and finally the kids lost patience and gave me an ultimatum!!! Luckily I had a couple of decent ones that I could use. The pictures really do not convey how delicious this truly simple pasta is!!! Perfectly al dente pasta tossed with delicate spinach, crunchy almonds, and fragrant garlic with a touch of heat from the chili all highlighted by the punch of lemon juice!!! An explosion of flavors!!!

Pasta with Spinach and Almonds

1 ½ cups uncooked Pasta

2 tbsp. Olive oil

3 cloves of Garlic, minced

½ tsp. Red Chili Flakes

4 tbsp. Slivered Almonds, toasted

2 cups loosely packed Baby Spinach leaves

Zest and juice of 1 Lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water till al dente…..fully cooked but with a slight bite.

Heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic on a low heat till slightly golden.

Add the red chili flakes, salt, pepper and spinach. Sauté for a minute.

Add the pasta and a couple of tbsp. of pasta water and sauté for another minute or so. The spinach should be just wilted.

Add the toasted almonds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss together.

Serve either warm or at room temperature.


This is off to “Eat your Greens” at Allotment 2 Kitchen- A Seasonal Veg Table,  “Pasta Please” and “Speedy Suppers” at Maison Cupcake  and “In my Veg Box-Spinach” at East West Realm.