Recipe: Simple Pasta

I made this for the first time last Monday and then again last night and again today for lunch.  Each time it was slightly different.  It's about the easiest thing you can make, approximately 20 minutes start to finish.  And it's really tasty.   And yes, there are raisins in this, which I'm generally not a big fan of.  However, these are golden raisins and they're delicious and much better than regular black/purple raisins. They add an unexpected sweetness to the dish and are what make it unique.  The first time, I used a super-thin cappellini and I found it was too thin to mix it all together well.  Something more substantial like spaghetti would work best here.  You could mix this recipe up in any number of ways including adding more vegetables (especially if you have leftovers that won't increase the prep time in this dish) or a grilled chicken breast.   Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to add the lemon juice.  Acid makes any dish so much more interesting.

Serves 4 (with leftovers depending on  your appetite)

16 oz spaghetti (or any not super thin pasta including whole wheat--used in photo) 2 T olive oil 2 medium-large shallots, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 8 oz+ fresh spinach 1/2 cup nuts or seeds, toasted 5 oz goat cheese or feta, crumbled 1/4 cup golden raisins Zest and juice of one lemon (using more if necessary)

Cook pasta in well-salted water until al dente.  At the same time, heat olive oil and saute shallots and garlic for approximately five minutes, adding raisins after a couple minutes to rehydrate them just a bit.  Add spinach.  When wilted, turn heat off and combine with cooked pasta, nuts or seeds, and cheese.  Stir together.  Top with lemon juice and zest.  I also added some more spinach into the dish after the heat is off, so it wilts just a bit.  So easy!