April 28, 2010

Warm Spinach & Orzo Pasta Salad

Pasta is huge favorite with a lot of my family and friends. This particular recipe has a great combination of lemon and black pepper which gives this light dish a fresh and robust flavor. Best part is you don't need to have any sauce like marinara or alfredo to go with it. Kids will especially love this dish. Enjoy!

1 lb orzo pasta, cooked al dente and drained
1/2 lb julienne-shredded fresh spinach
1 large red bell pepper, cut into quarter inch pieces
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
3 tbsp capers
3 tbsp sliced black olives
1 tbsp minced garlic
Juice of one small lemon and 1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper as per taste
Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and give it a few tosses. Don't let the garlic brown. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Next goes the red pepper, cook for no more than a minute, should still have a bite. Toss in the spinach and switch off the fire. The heat from the the pan will cook the spinach until just wilted. Add the orzo and the olives, capers and pine nuts. Sprinkle black pepper to your taste. Toss and fluff.

Check for salt (remember the cheese will add salt as well). Sprinkle with cheese to coat. Serve with crusty bread. You can also add sauteed shrimp or julienned chicken breast to make it a complete meal.

1 comment:

  1. I made this today, lemon-pepper flavor was awesome. I used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts, went well with orzo.