Whole Wheat Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach and Feta Cheese

With many cancellations in our schedules and the emphasis on social distancing, we will undoubtedly be spending more time at home. This week at The Sylvia Center, we whipped up Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach and Feta Cheese to present a dish that is well balanced, easily comes together, and can use many hands (young and old). One way to include the whole family with this dish is to delegate tasks. While it may take an executive chef to boil water and cook the pasta, station chefs can help by crumbling the feta, tearing spinach leaves, and measuring ingredients. 

Cooking is also a great platform to integrate with science, technology, math, and art. Have your chefs help by reading the recipe, measuring ingredients, and scaling the recipe up or down depending on your house size. Measuring ingredients with measuring cups/spoons is a natural lesson in fractions and scaling the recipe calls for multiplication or division. Task your teen chef as your sous chef to help with plating the dish in a artistic and appealing way, taking a picture/video, writing a creative description, and post to social media using hastags such as #cooktogether #familycooking and #nationalnutritionmonth for the month of March.  

This recipe is also versatile in the added ingredients you can use. Bring science into the conversation by experimenting with different dressing combinations using different oils and vinegars. This recipe can also easily be adapted for those with gluten and dairy sensitivities, swap for gluten free pasta or brown rice and omit the cheese but add some beans for protein. While it might be hard to find fresh spinach in the grocery store, you could try frozen or look to your local farmers because baby spinach will be coming into season. Switch it up entirely and substitute kale. Make this dish your own and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach and Feta Cheese

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole grain bow tie pasta – cooked
  • 3 cups fresh spinach – chopped or torn
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes (or fresh) – chopped
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cups Italian Dressing – recipe for homemade below or use your favorite store bought

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons red onion – minced 
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Pasta Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package or until al dente, then drain
  2. Chop or tear-up the spinach and chop sun dried tomatoes. 
  3. In a large bowl toss the pasta, spinach, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes and Italian dressing.
  4. Refrigerate the pasta salad or serve right away.

Dressing Instructions

  1. Soak 2 tablespoons minced red onion in cold water, 15 minutes; drain. 
  2. Pile 1/2 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt on aboard; chop and mash into a paste. 
  3. Whisk with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and the onion. 
  4. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil.