Greek Pasta with Spinach, Olives, Tomatoes and White Beans

I'd like to share with you today yet another extremely easy and healthy pasta recipe. You'll love it: it takes only 20-25 minutes to make, it conveniently combines all four food groups in a single pot, and at about $1.75 per serving, it's laughably cheap too.

It's always a pleasure to find a simple, honest and dependable recipe like this. Dinner doesn't have to be so complicated all the time.
Greek Pasta with Spinach, Olives, Tomatoes and White Beans

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 (14.5 ounce) cans plain diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can small white beans, rinsed well and drained
1 cup olives, pitted (canned okay)
black pepper to taste
About 4-5 ounces (about 4 cups) fresh spinach
1 lb penne or other similar pasta

1/2 to 3/4 cup (3-4 ounces) crumbled or cubed feta cheese

1) Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, until tender.
2) Add tomatoes, olives and beans, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes while the pasta cooks.
3) Add the spinach to the sauce, combine well, and continue simmering for 1-2 minutes. Let spinach wilt a bit, but not too much.
4) Place cooked pasta into shallow plates or bowls, add sauce on top of the pasta. Crumble feta cheese on top.

Serves 5-6.

Four brief recipe notes:
1) The prep time for this meal should be about 10 minutes, followed by cooking time of about 15 minutes. And to think people claim they don't have time to cook healthy, inexpensive food at home.

2) The nice thing about feta cheese, besides it's innate Greekishness, is that it's one of the more reasonably priced cheeses out there. However, if you don't like feta, you're in luck, because you can make an "extreme frugal" version of this dish--something befitting even the Frugal Fu blog--by leaving out the feta entirely. Doing this can get the recipe cost down as low as $1.20-$1.30 per serving.

3) There are a number of variations of this recipe floating around on the internet (incidentally, the last two of those three look suspiciously identical), but my recipe above is Casual Kitchen's official, scientifically tested version. Feel free to borrow and adapt it to your whims. It's fun to look over similar versions of the same recipe and think about which ones might taste better or worse, and why. This exercise can also be a great source of potential recipe modification ideas.

One final question: after taking a quick look at the the three recipes above, will someone please tell me where in the world you can find a 19-ounce can of beans?
Related Posts:
Pasta Puttanesca
How to Make Risotto
Farfalle with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Cheese
Six Secrets to Save You from Cooking Burnout

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Jeff D said...

my initial thought was to convert 19 oz into grams, but that gives you 538g.

I bet it's a typo.

Daniel said...

Hi Jeff:
I bet you're right. And the fact that this typo appears in three separate recipes is strong evidence that they "borrowed" the recipe from each other! :)

Thanks for reading.


Heather said...

You can get a huge can of beans at places like Winco or Cash & Carry, or use dried (bringing the cost even lower).

Thanks for the visit! I'll hafta read more here. :)

Daniel said...

Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by and that's great advice on savings. I remember another food blogger who used to use the phrase "don't pay for water" when she urged readers to emphasize dried beans rather than canned.


Karen said...

Sounds like a light and delicious meal :)

creampuff said...

I'll take a bowlful, thanks Dan!

Dazy said...

I'm making this for dinner tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

wosnes said...

About the beans -- some beans come in 19 ounce cans. I've most often seen chickpeas and cannellini beans in 19 ounce cans. I'm pretty sure Progresso brand comes in 19 ounce cans.

Daniel said...

Thanks for your input Wosnes!