Spicy Pasta with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Raisins
Here's a Greek recipe that's an easy but delicious combination of sauteed spinach and cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, shrimp, raisins, and red pepper flakes, called boukovo in Greece.
- 16 large cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1-2 tsp. dried Greek oregano or 3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed, peeled, and finely chopped
- 2 medium red onions finely chopped
- 4 cups cooked sauteed or steamed coarsely chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
- 2 tbsp. dark seedless raisins
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Crumbled feta optional
- Salt pepper to taste
- 1 pound / 1/2 k whole wheat ziti or rigatoni
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat and saute the cherry tomatoes until their skin cracks. Season with coarse salt, cracked black pepper, thyme, oregano and 1 garlic clove. Toss all together constantly until the tomatoes are cooked but have not disintegrated completely. Remove from heat and skillet.
2. In the same skillet heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and soften the onion and garlic. Add the cooked spinach, pine nuts, raisins, pepper flakes, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and toss all together for a few minutes, for the flavors to meld.
3. While you saute the tomatoes then the remaining sauce ingredients, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season generously with salt. Cook the pasta til al dente. Drain and toss with half the olive oil. Add the pasta to the spinach mixture in the skillet and toss. Serve immediately, topped with a bit of crumbled feta, if desired.