This Healthy Mediterranean Pasta is the breezy social butterfly of the dinner recipe crowd. So effortless! So chic! A light, easygoing mix of angel hair pasta, fresh lemon, and classic Mediterranean ingredients like tomato, Parmesan, and artichoke, this simple but splendid healthy pasta recipe can carry itself at any meal. Whether it’s a hectic family weeknight meal or romantic date night in, this Mediterranean Pasta belongs.
I prize recipes that combine pantry staples and fresh ingredients to create fast, healthy meals.
Mixing fresh and pantry items means that I only need to buy one or two things to make dinner. Cooking and shopping this way is often less expensive, AND because pantry items are typically quick and convenient, I can get dinner on the table sooner too.
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN PASTA ?
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt — plus 1 teaspoon, divided
- 6 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta — whole wheat spaghetti, or similar whole wheat noodles (I recommend DeLallo whole wheat pasta)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups grape tomatoes — or cherry tomatoes
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts— (14 ounces)
- 1 can whole pitted black olives — (6 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — about 1 lemon
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley — chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, then drain.
While the water boils and pasta cooks, prep your vegetables and remaining ingredients: mince the garlic; halve the cherry tomatoes; drain and roughly chop the artichokes; drain and slice the olives in half. Once the vegetables start cooking, the recipe goes quickly, so you want to be ready.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes begin to break down and release some juices into the oil, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add the artichokes and olives. Drizzle the lemon juice over the pasta. Continue tossing and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until warmed through. If the pasta seems too dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Toss once more and enjoy.
- Tips from Mary, the recipe’s author: Don’t skimp on the olive oil or parsley. Both are key to giving the final dish great flavor.
- To reheat: Warm gently in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water to keep the pasta from drying out.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.