This recipe brings all the flavors of a spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) filling — spinach, feta, dill and scallion — to a quick and easy pasta dinner, for a meal that is satisfyingly creamy but also light and fresh tasting.
Spaghetti with Spinach,
Feta and Dill
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
12 ounces spaghetti (preferably whole-wheat)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
2 medium scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced, dark green parts reserved separately, for serving
8 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 ¹/3 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta one minute less than the package instructions. Reserve about one cup of the pasta water, then drain.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat three tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and the light green and white parts of the scallions and cook, stirring, until the garlic is pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, adding more as the spinach in the pan begins to wilt. Cook, stirring, until all the spinach is wilted, but still bright green, about two minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside until the pasta is ready.
After you drain the pasta, return the skillet to medium heat and add the drained pasta. Add about one cup (generous 5 ounces) of the feta cheese and the dill and cook, tossing to combine and adding pasta water as needed to loosen and coat the pasta, until most of the feta is melted, about one minute. Drizzle in the remaining olive oil. Taste, and season with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper, if desired.
Slice the dark scallion greens. Divide across six bowls, garnish with the freshly sliced scallion, dill and the remaining feta cheese and serve. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days.
Nutrition per serving (1 cup), based on 6 | Calories: 394; Total Fat: 17 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 29 mg; Sodium: 452 mg; Carbohydrates: 47 g; Dietary Fiber: g; Sugar: g; Protein: 13 g.
Krieger is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, author and television cook.