Sometimes I don’t feel like going to the store. Sometimes I don’t feel like following a recipe. And sometimes – not often enough probably – the frugal side of me thinks, “hey, you should use up some of this stuff you have in the fridge before you buy more stuff.”
Yesterday all three of those things came into play for me. I had lots of bits and pieces of ingredients left over from other recipes and was feeling supremely lazy. The result: one of my random, thrown together concoctions. This one turned out particularly tasty. I wish I had had some fresh basil to throw in here, but alas, I did not. I can’t wait for warmer weather because I always have a big pot of it growing outside. It’s about the only plant I can successfully grow with my black thumb. I included it in the recipe below because I think it would have been a great addition, but it was also good without it.
I think I need to keep a batch of olive tapenade on hand at all times. It seems to be good with just about everything. With this particular batch, I actually made three recipes – Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Pasta Tapenade (below), plus fried egg & tapenade sandwiches for breakfast one day. I’m sure my mom will be aghast that I messed with the sanctity of the basic fried egg sandwich but hey, I’m a rebel.
1 pkg. tri-color rotini pasta
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup olive tapenade (make your own or buy from the store)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
lemon wedges and/or parmesan for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta 8-10 minutes, until tender, but not overcooked. Drain. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add garlic and crushed red pepper and stir until fragrant 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and saute about a minute. Add olive tapenade and cream and stir to blend. Add pasta, feta and basil and toss. Add salt & pepper if needed. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parmesan if desired. Serves 4.