Pasta with Spinach, Chili, and Walnuts #SundaySupper #GGHoliday2013

Creamy Spinach Pasta with Chili Pepper and Walnuts

Like so many other people, I’m always on the lookout for easy, fool-proof entertaining recipes this time of year. With all of the hustle and bustle surrounding the holidays, it seems like no matter how much I plan I still always find myself scrambling to pull things together at the last second!

This pasta with spinach, chili pepper, and toasted walnuts might just be the solution. It may seem (and taste!) fancy, but it doesn’t take any longer to make than plain old pasta with a jar of sauce. While the pasta cooks, you whip up a simple sauce with plain yogurt, spinach, and basil and toast some walnuts in chili oil. Once the pasta is done, just mix it all together and top it with some briny feta cheese. The flavors are really complex ­– it’s the kind of dish that tastes better and better the more you eat!

Your guests will never know that it took you less than 20 minutes to make and, since it doesn’t need to be served piping hot, it works equally as well for a sit-down and buffet style parties.

Gourmet Garden

This week, #SundaySupper is being sponsored by one of my favorite products: Gourmet Garden! I’ve been using these herb pastes for years and they’re great – especially this time of year, when fresh herbs are hard to find (and crazy expensive.)

You use them just like you would use the fresh stuff (swap them for fresh herbs in at a one-to-one ratio), but they last a really long time in the refrigerator so you don’t need to stress our about having to buy a whole bunch of something when the recipe only calls for a little bit.

Before I discovered these, I think I spent like $10 a week on fresh herbs… and every week I’d end up throwing out at least half of them because I didn’t use them quickly enough. It was terrible! Now I always have a few tubes on hand and I’m ready to tackle whatever recipe idea comes to me.

For this recipe, I used three varieties: chunky garlic, chili pepper, and basil. The chunky garlic is one of my absolute favorites because it saves me the hassle of having to peel and mince the garlic myself, but it still tastes really fresh (unlike other pre-minced garlic that can taste a little funky after a while.) I also really love the ginger and lemongrass for the same reason… they make prepping a recipe so easy!

You can find them right by the fresh herbs in the produce section of the grocery store, and I highly recommend that you seek them out. You can also follow them on social media, where they’re always sharing fun ideas. They’re on facebooktwitterpinterest, and instagram.

Creamy Spinach Pasta with Chili Pepper and Walnuts

Creamy Pasta with Spinach, Chili Pepper, and Walnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces high fiber mini shell pasta
  • 1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, torn
  • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden basil paste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon Gourmet Garden chunky garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden chili pepper paste
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
Preparation
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce by combining the yogurt, spinach, garlic paste, basil paste, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until a smooth green sauce forms, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a small pan set over medium heat. Add the chili paste and walnuts. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until the walnuts are toasted and the oil is fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Drain the pasta. Slowly stir in the yogurt sauce. Top with chili oil, toasted walnuts, and feta. Season to taste with sea salt.

This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices. All opinions are my own.

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

You can Pin these recipes from our Easy Holiday Entertaining Pinterest Board.

Comments

  1. Renee Dobbs says:

    I’m thinking this just very well be my Sunday Supper tonight. All I have to do is pick up spinach at the store and I’m all ready to make it.

  2. Family Foodie says:

    What a great idea for the holidays and made in 20 minutes or less… even better!

  3. Marjory @ Dinner-Mom says:

    Love that this recipe is vegetarian and quick…and has feta. Definitely going to be trying this soon.

  4. This is exactly the flavor palate I love with pasta…and so easy using Gourmet Garden herbs! A must try!!!

  5. Jennifer Drummond says:

    YUM!!! This is one of my favorite kind of meals. Yours look just amazing!!

  6. I love the idea of using yogurt as a creamy without cream kinda sauce! What a fabulous dish!

  7. Gorgeous dish, Lauren! I’m the same way with herbs (best intentions), so these really are a life saver.

  8. Rosey Rebecca says:

    This looks incredible! And those tubes of herb pastes are genius!

  9. I think EVERY party needs to have some sort of pasta dish. It should be a rule. I love the gorgeous color here, and it looks SO creamy. YUM!

  10. Love all the ingredients in your pasta, it looks superb!! I love also how fast it is to put together, great recipe!!

  11. Jen @JuanitasCocina says:

    I am adding this to my menu. I wish it weren’t so snowy outside. I’d run to the store right now!

  12. Cindys Recipes says:

    I love spinach pesto the feta sounds extra good in here.

  13. Alice Choi says:

    I feel the same way with fresh herbs. . spending so much money to get organic herbs and not using them fast enough. . love this pasta!! yum!

  14. Mmmmm that looks delicious! I have always wanted to try those gourmet garden flavors, and your recipe really shows them up well :) Of course pasta is also great for my training, I get bored of the same old pasta sauces, this would make a lovely change! Thanks!

  15. Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere says:

    This sauce is fantastic! Perfect for a veggie pasta meal when we’re not feeling tomatoes.

  16. supperforasteal says:

    Change in lunch plans, I want this! And I have everything too… off to the kitchen

  17. kimchi_mom says:

    I love the combo of yogurt and feta! Sounds and looks great!

  18. Can you believe how much money we are all going to save now that we’re Gourmet Garden converts? We should all save our money and take a trip :)

  19. littleredkitchen says:

    Okay, now I really am chuckling because I hadn’t read your post before I made dinner last night with essentially the same ingredients as you! Great minds think alike! p.s. I totally added walnuts to my pasta too. :-)

  20. I’m thankful for any recipe I can make in 20 minutes or less, especially this time of year. My dinner making has been seriously lacking. I blame it on all the cookie baking.

  21. Looks delicious, can’t wait to try it! Any idea what the nutrition info maybe on this recipe?

    Thanks!

    • Lauren Keating says:

      Hi Colleen! It might vary a little bit based on what brands of pasta and yogurt you use, but I calculated it at 362 calories, 21.6 grams fat, 34.5 grams carbs, 4.6 grams fiber, and 13.6 grams of protein. (You can lower the calorie and fat amounts slightly by using fat free yogurt, but I really prefer the taste with low fat.)

      If you want a more specific calculation based on the products you use, I really like this calculator: http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

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