As I write, I am sitting outside on the concrete balcony because I cannot stand to be surrounded by boxes anymore. Big, brown, ugly cardboard boxes are lining the apartment; they’re under the stairs, they’re in my bedroom, they’re even taunting me in the back seat of my car. I’ve been living in my new apartment for a week already, and I haven’t unpacked. I hate moving.
Well, okay, that isn’t entirely true. There are upsides. I do get to live in a cute townhouse with two great people. I don’t have to share a shower with 12 other girls. And, best of all, I get to put together my own kitchen (I just bought a hand mixer wheeee!).
In celebration of my new kitchen, my friend Brianna gave me a recipe to try out — her tomato-feta-spinach pasta. Brianna is one of the first people I met when I came to college. This year, we ended up in the same majors (Plan II and Women’s and Gender Studies), three of the same classes, the same organization (Texas Feminists), and the same dorm. It’s a classic girl-meets-girl, girls-peer-edit-each-other’s-papers, girl-gives-girl-delicious-recipe story.
The recipe is simple and incredibly delicious. Chop up an onion and some garlic (I used 6 or 7 cloves, but I’d probably use more next time) and saute them in olive oil. Add spices of your choosing (basil, oregano, salt and pepper for me) and two cans of diced tomatoes. Simmer for a bit, add in some fresh spinach (I threw in a whole bag), simmer for a bit longer. Add about a cup of feta, then mix in the pasta of your choice. Brianna also says it can go on chicken. If I wasn’t feeding my roommates I probably would have just eaten it out of the pot with the wooden spoon I was stirring it with. Because I had more dignity (read: they were watching) I threw in some whole-wheat penne*.
How did it turn out? UM JUST LOOK AT THIS. Freaking phenomenal. Maybe it’s just because I have a not-so-secret love affair with tomato/spinach/garlic combos, maybe it was because today was so wonderfully sunshiney, maybe it’s because I’ve finally freed myself from the deathgrip of finals… but this tasted just like summer. Absolutely wonderful. It could also easily be made vegan, by taking out the feta. A few suggestions, if you make this at home… I’m definitely going to chiffonade some fresh basil and throw it in next time, and add some more garlic. Let the sauce simmer until it’s almost perfect before adding in the spinach so that it doesn’t cook down too much.
Brianna’s leaving for Italy in a couple weeks, and while I will miss her dearly, I look forward to her teaching me how to cook more Italian food upon her return. Until then, grazie for the pasta! Arrivederci! Gelato! Ene-b-d!
*NOTE: Apparently the Italian word for “penis” is pronounced very similarly to “penne,” according to Brianna. I was going to look up what the Italian word was but my google search for “Italian for penis” was unsuccessful and mildly disturbing. Please use caution when asking for penne around real Italians.