Friday, February 24, 2012

Family Favorite: Pine Nut Pasta

My family calls it Pine Nut Pasta. It used to be that we couldn't get enough of this stuff, but I think the Other Adult got burned out on this because I was always suggesting it, or maybe the Kid was always asking for it, whatever. So now we rarely have it, but we had it again last night, for the first time in ages. It's delicious. And I remembered all over again why we used to eat it all the time...cause it's fast and delicious and healthy.

The original recipe comes from What's Cooking Vegetarian, by Jenny Stacey--a favored family cook book so used and worn that looks like we left it on a battlefield. We have adapted the recipe to suit our needs, though some of the changes I'm not sure why we made.

I've decided to start giving the prep time for these recipes because prep time is so crucial to people like me who run in the door at 5:00 at night...not sure how I didn't think to do this before.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes (20 if you cook like a maniac)


  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3/4 medium to large onion, diced
  • 3/4 c pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • pasta


  1. Boil water for pasta. Put pasta in as soon as it's boiling.
  2. Place pan for sauteing over medium to medium high heat; add olive oil and onions. Stir occasionally. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add pine nuts and garlic to the onions in the pan. Stir occasionally. Onions should be softening slightly but not caramelizing or browning. Saute for about 3 minutes. Stir your pasta from time to time.
  4. Add baby spinach to the food sauteing in the pan. The Other Adult likes it when I take the time to remove the stems from the baby spinach.
  5. Add salt and pepper to the sauteing food. Allow spinach to become half wilted, then turn off the heat.
  6. Serve over pasta with parmesan cheese; a little salt.

Serve with:

Toasted garlic bread, or sauteed mushrooms on baked toasts.


The original recipe calls for 6T white wine over the pine nut mixture, added around midway through the saute. When we were first developing this recipe, we were broke and probably never had white wine on hand, which may be why we eliminated that from the recipe. Also, the original recipe calls for mushrooms. We never put them in but as far as I can tell, there isn't a good reason for that. hmmm...

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