CHERRY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH AND PARMESAN PASTA

Cherry Tomato Basil Spinach and Parmesan Pasta – an easy and delicious meatless meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Best of all, comes together in just 20 minutes with fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, parmesan and pasta.  

Whenever I’m pressed for time or haven’t had a chance to prep anything in advance, I know that I can always rely on noodles or pasta for our meal.

It’s a sure way to get my family excited about dinner and is such a great way to sneak in a few extra veggies while I’m at it. I love that I can have dinner on the table in a short time and it’s so easy to toss in whatever I have on hand.

This quick pasta dish is as simple as it is delicious – with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, baby spinach and some grated Parmesan cheese.  It can be ready from start to finish in only 20 minutes so it’s perfect for weeknights when you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Since I am a spice lover, I also added some red chili flakes as well as a finely chopped chili pepper but feel free to leave those out if you don’t want the extra heat.  I also used gluten free pasta here but you can really use any pasta of your choice.

Serve this alongside your favorite protein or salad and be sure to add the extra heaping of Parmesan Cheese for the topping 🙂

This easy and light tasting pasta makes a delicious meal all year round but is especially perfect during the summer when your garden is bursting with juicy tomatoes and fresh basil.

CHERRY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH AND PARMESAN PASTA
CHERRY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH AND PARMESAN PASTA

CHERRY TOMATO, BASIL, SPINACH AND PARMESAN PASTA

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces of dried spaghetti or pasta noodles of your choice (I used gluten free pasta)
  • 3 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 flowing cups of baby spinach,roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch (about 10 to 12 leaves) basil, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 red chili pepper of your choice, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve 3/4 cups of pasta water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic, and gently saute for about a minute or two, until the garlic is just beginning to color (being careful to not let burn). Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and black pepper. Cook tomatoes for about 3-4 minutes until juices start to burst. Add the chopped chili pepper and cook for another minute or two until slightly softened.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water little by little until pasta is well coated. and consistency is reached (I used a little more than 1/2 a cup). Allow to simmer for about a minute then add the red chili pepper flakes, chopped spinach, basil and Parmesan cheese. Turn heat to low and gently toss to coat evenly. Add more pasta water if needed. Remove from heat.
  5. Season more to taste if desired and serve with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

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