The name of the game today is staying cool in the pool. By pool, I’m referring the the 10 foot wide, 3 foot deep play pool which my son received as a birthday gift from his uncle, aunt, and cousin. It’s been a godsend during this hot weather we’re having. The depth is perfect for the kids, since they can both touch the ground, which makes it much easier for me to handle two toddlers in the pool at once. A bottle of sparkling water and a dip in the pool with the kiddies. Sounds like a great afternoon plan to me!
But before we hit the pool, I have a great summer side salad to share with you. It’s delicious and perfect for summer entertaining. It’s great served at room temperature, warm, or chilled. Plus, it does well out of the fridge for a few hours, which makes it a great dish to bring to a potluck BBQ. We’ll be enjoying it tonight with roasted chicken sausage!
Farfalle with Spinach, Feta, and Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1 box Farfalle pasta
- 1 16 ounce package frozen Cut-Leaf Spinach, defrosted
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Shallot, diced fine
- 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup Feta cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 1.75 ounce bottle Pine Nuts (about 1/2 cup)
- Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Place the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat and cook for about 3-4 minutes until they just start to brown. Set the pine nuts aside. Squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach using your hands or a piece of cheesecloth.* When the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. In the pasta pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook for a minute or two. Add the drained spinach and stir. Add the cheese. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until the cheese begins to melt into the spinach mixture. Add the hot pasta and pine nuts. Toss to combine. Season with a bit of crushed red pepper, if desired. Serve immediately, refrigerate or hold at room temperature for a few hours.
Makes 8 Side Dish Servings
*Cheesecloth is a thin mesh fabric. My supermarket carries the cheesecloth in the same aisle as utensils and other cooking supplies. It comes in a huge piece, which you can cut to size as needed. It’s handy to have around for straining foods or bundling herbs to cook in stocks or soups.