After reading about an Italian restaurant on Yelp, I immediately starting craving…what else…Italian! It was lunch time anyway, so I decided to give into my craving and make some pasta. I already had oatmeal for breakfast, so I didn’t want to carb-it-out too much, but I knew I could get veggies and protein in there somehow.
I looked in the fridge…and I had fresh spinach, left over Northern Beans, a tangy mustard vinaigrette leftover from a salad my friend made, eggs (of course), and REAL sheeps milk feta (not the dried up crumbled kind from the regular grocery store). I also had some toasted pine nuts and thyme sprigs leftover from a previous recipe, so I knew I had to incorporate those ingredients as well. I had no idea what I was going to do with that mustard vinaigrette but if I could use it… I was going to find away.
This is what I came up with and this is all you need:
- 4 C. dried whole wheat pasta shells (or pasta of your choosing)
- 1/4 C. fresh feta
- 3-4 Cups fresh chopped spinach
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/8 C. toasted pinenuts
- 1/8 C. walnut pieces
- 1/4-1/2 C. Northern beans (already cooked…look for BPA free canned beans or cooked dried ones)
- olive oil (enough to lightly coat pasta)
- 1 over-easy egg (per serving)
- red pepper flakes to taste
- drizzle mustard vinaigrette (don’t have the recipe, but will get it from my friend)
- salt, pepper to taste
**** These measurements are just guidelines. I always wing it 😉
Once the pasta is cooked and drained, put it back in the pot, add olive oil and spinach, then covered to let wilt. After the spinach starts to soften, start cooking the egg in a separate pan. Season with salt, pepper, & dill if you wish. Watch carefully, b/c it’s easy to overcook like I did in the photo below 🙂 ( I was on the phone talking to my husband…oops!) While the egg is cooking stir in feta, beans and nuts into the pasta until the feta turns into a creamy, sauce-like consistency. Add fresh thyme and red pepper flakes continuing to stir. Once the pasta and egg are done, scoop the pasta into your favorite bowl and place the over-easy egg on top. Drizzle with a tangy mustard vinaigrette and enjoy!!
At first bite, my taste buds instantly woke up. The bold flavors of the thyme and the tangy-ness of vinaigrette blew me away and really complimented each other well. Food should be FUN, so feel free to make this dish your own!!
So at the end of the day, I fulfilled my pasta craving but also had protein from the beans, egg and nuts along with the essential vitamins from the spinach. Mission complete.