Spinach, walnut and pumpkin seed pasta

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We ended up having to change the mealplan a bit this week, having the spag bol yesterday and not doing the dhal at all – it’s because Dave ended up having an unplanned driving lesson tonight and as I was at the gym, there was no-one in to cook!

Dave was in before me and got a chippy (paid for by himself so not affecting the budget) so when I came in, I only had to feed myself.  No chippy for me – feel like it negates the point of the gym really, and I always feel so greasy afterwards!

Any long-time reader will know that my go-to quick meal is some kind of pasta dressed in oil and tonight was no exception.  But somehow the random selection of ingredients I ended up putting together just tasted amazing so i wanted to share the recipe with you all.  Of course, you could adapt it a bit depending what you have in, and if you wanted you could serve with some grilled chicken strips on top and/or any extra veg.

Speaking of veg, I used frozen spinach as I had some in and it’s a nice cheap way to get some greens in.  But you could use most greens I think, sliced and added to the cooking water at the appropriate time – was thinking kale or chard could be nice.  Or even fresh spinach if you have some around.

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Spinach, walnut and pumpkin seed pasta (serves 1)

  • 75-100g pasta (I used penne, but spaghetti would be even nicer, I think)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 big clove garlic or else two smaller cloves, finely sliced into slivers
  • 1 fresh chilli, finely sliced, or a couple of pinches of dried chilli flakes
  • 20g walnuts, chopped
  • 20g small handful pumpkin seeds
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 80g frozen spinach (or other greens)

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to packet directions – I do mine for about 10 minutes.  a few minutes in, add the frozen spinach lumps.

Meanwhile, heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a small frying pan and add the walnuts, chilli and pumpkin seeds.  Cook over a medium-low heat for a few minutes, allowing to toast.  With a 2-3 minutes to go until the pasta is ready, add the garlic slivers and allow to cook until golden. Remove the pan from the heat.

When the pasta and spinach is cooked, tip into a sieve.  The spinach holds quite a lot of water, so I kind of smooshed it against the sieve to squeeze as much out as possible.

Toss the pasta and spinach in the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and the lemon juice.  Serve in a bowl topped with the walnut, pumpkin seed, garlic and chilli mix, and drizzled with the oil used to cook them.  Season as desired.

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