Pasta – Weeknights – Are you serious!? Welcome to the weeknight meal extravaganza. After a hectic day at work, enjoying a rustic bowl of pasta is pure bliss. For me pasta is my comfort food at any hour of the day. I must confess that I am not an everday roti-sabzi kind of girl. Perhaps that my go – to food when I am ill or have been eating out a lot. I must also confess that I get bored very easily eating the same food. The whole experience of enjoying my meal fades away.
Weekdays being hectic, dinner is always a challenge. I often resort to cooking a quick simple pasta loaded with goodness of herbs and veggies. There is something about pastas that makes you fall in love with it every single time. Rustic or fancy – you just fall in love with it. Cooking it (and then eating it, of course) is therapeutic! This Burst Cherry Pasta has become my recent favourite. It is simple with no frills and fancies. It delivers on deliciousness, simplicity and a beautiful play of colors. Garlicky, subtly spiced and loaded with freshess – weeknight meals sorted!
INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)
- 250 grams of uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 6 – 7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 150 grams baby spinach
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- salt, to taste
- Put a pot of water on high heat. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, put the spaghetti in it with salt and let it cook on medium het until al dente.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 C. In a bowl take the cherry tomatoes, 1.5 tbsp olive oil, salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. Coat the cherry tomatoes generously and transfer it to the baking sheet.
- Allow the cherry tomatoes to roast in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes until it starts to burst open.
- Meanwhile if the pasta is cooked, drain the water and run it under cold water and keep aside.
- Take a saucepan and put it on low heat. Take the remaining olive oil. Once its heated add the garlic and let it cook on low flame for a minute ot two. Now add the chilli flakes and saute for 30 – 40 seconds.
- Once the cherry tomatoes are out of the oven, transfer it to the saucepan and saute for 40 seconds to a minute.
- Now add the baby spinach and let it cook for a minute or 2 until its soft on medium flame.
- Add the chopped basil leaves and stir in the mixture. Add the boiled pasta and saucte it for minute or 2.
- Now add the salt, cream cheese and give the pasta a quick mix.
- Add in lemon zest, toss it , garnish with basil leaves and serve.