An easy, vegetarian pasta recipe loaded with cherry tomatoes, greens like spinach, rapini and cheese!
For the longest time, when one of us wanted a really quick dinner for the family, we would boil some pasta and open up a jar of tomato-based pasta sauce. Dinner was ready in about 10 minutes, for under five dollars (the trick is to stock up on pasta sauce when it is on sale), and was frankly, delicious. Life is busy and there is nothing wrong with cutting corners sometimes. Having said that, our parents were busy too, arguably busier than we are, and we’re pretty sure that they never served us pasta sauce from a jar.
Still, they have their own go-to quick meals, like hilopites soup, spaghetti with olive oil and mizithra and rice with fide served with an eggs fried in olive oil. Key to any fast and easy recipe is that it require minimal prep time, should not include ingredients you have to rummage in the back of the pantry for, and should of course not take hours to cook. This is why pasta is so often a great choice and why we think you’ll love our pasta with cherry tomatoes and greens!
Although not much is easier than boxed pasta and jarred sauce, our pasta with cherry tomatoes and greens is definitely worth the additional, minimal, effort. A quick chop and blanch of the rapini, boiling the pasta and a quick saute of ingredients like onion and spinach and then toss everything together and add lots of cheese! This meal is fresh, full of flavour, and absolutely do-able even on busy weeknights.
What you need to make pasta with cherry tomatoes and greens:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chili flakes
- Dry oregano
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper
Looking for more quick and simple meals? Check out these:
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Pasta with cherry tomatoes and greens
- 4 cups rapini or 1 bunch
- ¼ cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2½ cups cherry tomatoes, kept whole
- 1 lb pasta of your choice we used gemelli
- 1 tbsp salt to add to water for boiling pasta
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp chili flakes or to taste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups baby spinach washed and drained (does not need to be completely dry)
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese plus more for sprinkling
- Prepare your rapini by cutting off about 2 inches from the stem and discarding it. Then, cut the rest of your rapini (stems and leaves) into 2 inch pieces and wash it.4 cups rapini
- Fill a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and then add the rapini. Bring back to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and cook the rapini for approximately 2 minutes. Remove the rapini with a sieve or slotted spoon and transfer it to a bowl filled with ice cold water. Do not pour out the water that was used to boil the rapini (you will use it to cook the pasta).
- Bring the water in the pot back to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. When your pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.1 lb pasta of your choice, 1 tbsp salt
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or pot. Add the onions and cherry tomatoes and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the tomatoes start softening and blistering.¼ cup olive oil, 1 medium yellow onion, chopped, 2½ cups cherry tomatoes, kept whole
- Add the garlic, chili flakes and oregano. Stir for 1 minute. Add the baby spinach, and cook until wilted.2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp chili flakes, 2 cups baby spinach
- Drain the rapini well and add it to the pan. Stir well and heat through.
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
- Cook over medium heat about 5-10 minutes, until all the ingredients have mixed well together. Add some of the reserved pasta water if it is too dry. Turn off the heat.
- Add the parmesan cheese, and stir to combine.¾ cup parmesan cheese
- Serve, drizzled with additional olive oil and sprinkle with some more parmesan cheese, if desired.