A mixture of saltiness and sweetness makes this sun-dried tomato and spinach pasta dish a must try! If you want something light and easy but packed with tons of flavour, this has to be your go to recipe!
In your life for sure you have tried to cook or maybe have eaten a pasta dish. This one might be more Italian, but almost every country has a type of pasta in their cuisine. Which makes it one of the most known and, even sometimes, controversial dishes. I personally could literally eat pasta every single day! I never get tired of it as there are so much options and you can most likely pair it with anything. Of course, the quality of the pasta you buy is always an important part of this dish and you have to be careful that its shape compliments the sauce you are serving it with. However, for me the deal breaker has to be the pasta sauce. It really makes or breaks your dish.
Pasta sauce vary significantly, you have those which are extremely saucy and rich, others are light and barely have any ingredients, others which are so creamy and dense, and the list goes on. For me, to decide which one I prefer depends mostly on the weather. I must say that in winter nothing beats a good rich full of flavour sauce, whereas in summer a light and easy one such as aglio e olio (garlic and oil) never disappoints. This sun-dried tomato and spinach pasta for me falls right in the middle: its intense and full flavour makes it the perfect winter dish, but at the same time the sun-dried tomatoes, gives it that summery touch since for me this ingredient embodies most of my summer meals.
Sun-dried tomato sauce
In this recipe, I will be explaining how to keep this sauce slightly chunky and with a bite. I do this by chopping and cooking the onion, garlic, oregano and chili flakes separately for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. However, to make this recipe easier, you can simply create a paste from all of these ingredients prior to adding it to the cooked pasta. All you have to do is blitz together the sun-dried tomatoes and some of their oil, onion, garlic, oregano and chili flakes to a blender until you get a nice thick red paste.
I like to finish these light pasta dishes such as this one with toasted breadcrumbs on top. Apart from giving the pasta dish an added crunch, the breadcrumbs make the dish tastier. I always make the breadcrumbs myself, by crushing a piece of bread (preferably a day old) in a blender until I have nice even crumbs. Simply heat the pan and add the bread crumbs to toast. You can also add some flavourings, such as olive oil, lemon juice or any herbs you want. However, be careful with your liquids so that you don’t saturate the bread too much and it ends up all soggy.
Sun-dried tomato and Spinach Pasta
- 160g rigatoni pasta or any other short pasta *
- 40 g sun-dried tomatoes in oil 1 cup + 2 tbsp of its oil
- 15 ml olive oil 1 tbsp
- 1/2 white onion chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- a large handful of spinach
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs toasted
- 20 g grana padano extra for serving
- In a large pot, cook the pasta until al dente in salted water according to the instructions on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of its oil (you might need more depending on which type you get) until finely chopped.
- Heat a large pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the white onion, garlic cloves, oregano and chili flakes. Let cook for a few minutes.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it but set aside about half a cup of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the pan with the sun-dried tomato mixture, add the spinach and the pasta water. Mix well together and let cook until the spinach has wilted.
- Before serving the pasta add the grana padano cheese and mix well. Taste it and if needed add some salt.
- Serve immediately, with some toasted breadcrumbs on top and freshly grated grana padano.
- You can also create a sun-dried tomato paste before starting the cooking by blending together the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil with the onion, garlic, oregano and chili flakes.
- In this recipe, I’m not instructing to put any salt as the sun-dried tomatoes are already quite salty so you have to be careful not to overkill this dish in salt. It’s important to always taste the dish before salting.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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