Easy Dinner Series For Large Families: #1 Lemon-Garlic Pasta with Spinach

I make this dish on a regular basis. It’s a great recipe for those busy nights when you want a quick meal, but still want it to be on the healthy side. We are total foodies, so one thing that I don’t like to skimp on is a homemade fresh meal. In reality, that doesn’t always happen (pb&j night anybody?). Having fibromyalgia has greatly changed the way I have to deal with dinner. Cooking has always been a huge hobby for me, but I have had to make some adjustments. I am most definitely not “Betty Crocker”, but planning ahead of time can make a dinner a success instead of a burden.

I like to have a list of cheap, easy meals that I can make that everyone enjoys but doesn’t take a lot of effort. That’s a tall order for a family of 6 on busy nights or if you struggle with chronic illness.

I would like to share some of those quick, healthy, cheap, and easy dinners with you in a series called “Easy Dinners For Large Families”. If you enjoy this, please make sure that you subscribe so that you will get notified each time I post something new..And keep your eye out for #2 coming next week!

Lemon Garlic Pasta with Spinach

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What You Need:

2 lemons (juice and zest)

5 tsp Italian Seasoning

2 lbs of pasta (spaghetti noodles)

8 TBSP Salted Butter

2 TBSP Olive oil

1 tsp pepper

2-3 heaping TBSP of minced garlic

2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup water (held back from noodles after draining)

4 pinches of crushed red pepper  (2 if you don’t like a little kick)

24 oz Spinach (1.5 bags)

Start your water on high for the pasta and add some salt. While you wait for the water to boil go ahead and prepare your lemons- wash and then juice each lemon and collect the lemon zest

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Once your water is boiling add the pasta and the oil (2 TBSP). Turn the heat down to medium and make sure to stir the noodles occasionally as they cook.

Now to start the base- Get a big skillet or pan, on medium heat and add your butter. Once the butter is about halfway melted add the garlic and the lemon zest. Cook this for a couple of minutes while moving around the butter and garlic/zest in the pan. Next add the red pepper flakes, Italian seasonings, lemon pepper, salt, and pepper.

 

Drain the pasta once finished, adding 1/4 cup of the water into the seasoning pan, along with half of the spinach and lemon juice.      (Note: I always have spinach frozen in our freezer, whether from our garden or from the grocery. The easiest way to store kale and spinach is to freeze it. I just pull it out to defrost when I begin preparing for the recipe)

Stir the spinach until wilted and add the pasta. Cover, stirring every 5 minutes and adding the remaining spinach by the handful, until everything is well combined and the spinach is wilted.

Serve immediately with olive oil and Parmesan cheese on the side, as desired.

I usually serve this with a side salad (Italian) and buttered/garlic bread or broccoli and grapes. Either of those go quite nicely.

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This serves about 10 people with leftovers.

 

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