I have not posted in months, I know. Summer took me from Baja, Mexico, to Fort Bragg, CA, to LA, to Portland, OR, to Seattle, WA, and everywhere in between. Plans are in the works for a post or two regarding the wonderful food and drink I encountered along the way. Until then, I would like to share the first dinner I’ve cooked for myself in at least eight weeks. It’s been sad not cooking, but wonderful to eat out and experience things beyond my skill level.
Today was my first contract day back at work, so I knew I wanted something quick when I got home. I also didn’t want to buy many things at the store, especially produce, as I’m expecting a wonderful produce delivery tomorrow! So, I decided on pasta. What is more simple than pasta? I even threw in the use of the oven, and this is still easy. When you only have a short amount of time, then try this recipe. You won’t be disappointed. AND if you want to cheat because you don’t even have time to roast the green beans, simply put them in with the pasta to cook all in one pot!
The secret to a making a simply pasta amazing is the quality of the ingredients. When buying my green beans, I made sure I was that shopper who went through and picked only the best from the bin. Then, I decided to up my protein and try out corn/quinoa pasta.* Lastly, and to me most importantly (because I love cheese), the feta. You can use a crumbled feta like you find in every grocery store, but for a pasta, I prefer brined, block feta. It has a more solid texture that will not melt and break down as quickly as the pre-crumbled variety. Just know that your feta, if the crumbled kind, will become more of a sauce instead of remaining in lovely chopped up pieces.
*A note on the pasta I chose: I loved the flavor. It was nutty and worked well with the roasted green beans. However, I did not like its texture with the dish. It was hard to mix the other ingredients in, and everything didn’t just come together. The next time I will try a whole wheat pasta, and if I still don’t like that, I’ll go back to a regular pasta! Live and learn.
Anyway, here’s the recipe:
Pasta with Roasted Green Beans and Feta (makes 4 servings)
8 oz. pasta (I used spaghetti, but any noddle will do)
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut to 2″ pieces
large shallot, sliced thinly
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. feta (crumbled or diced by hand)
2 tbsp olive oil
zest of one lemon
black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and get a pot of water on to boil. Prepare pasta according to directions.
Toss together the green beans, shallots, and 2 tbsp. of olive oil, making sure to coat the beans evenly. Line a baking sheet with foil, then pour your green beans out. Roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, depending on how crunchy or softened you want your beans.
After pasta is cooked and drained, return it to the pot. Add the roasted green beans and shallots, the feta, additional 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and lemon. Season with pepper to taste. You should not need salt…the feta will take care of that!