Sautéed Spinach, Pasta and Mushrooms

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Ingredients:

5 cups fresh spinach, washed, drained, torn into pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil (or unsalted butter)

2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/2 pound spiral, bow tie, or small shell pasta (or carrot, squash or zucchini noodles)

1 medium onion, halved, sliced thinly

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1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

Juice and zest from one lemon

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup black or Kalamata olives, sliced

Sea or Kosher salt, pepper, dried mint, basil, or oregano

Choice of crumbled feta or halloumi cheese, toasted pine nuts or walnuts, dried cranberries, fresh lemon wedges as garnish

Preparation:

Cook the pasta in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet or pan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes, tossing, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender but not mushy. Add the spinach and toss, cooking in batches until the spinach wilts. Add the balsamic vinegar, and cook a few minutes longer, stirring. (Add 1-2 tablespoons of dry white wine or chicken broth if the spinach is too dry.)

Add the pasta to the cooked spinach mixture, and toss; season with lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, olives, salt, pepper, and choice of spices.

Top with cheese, toasted pine nuts or walnuts, or dried cranberries, and serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at https://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/