Speed Dinner Week: Sundried Tomato and Spinach Farfalli with Walnuts - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Speed Dinner Week: Sundried Tomato and Spinach Farfalli with Walnuts

If you've ever run a road race, triathlon or marathon (hell, if you've ever just run the kids to school), you know that it's an immense amount of work to best your time. Get­ting din­ner ready in less time is, in my mind, a lot like try­ing to shave 3 min­utes off your run (or morn­ing rou­tine). It some­times doesn't mat­ter how much addi­tional con­di­tion­ing you do, it's still going to take you at least 30 minutes.

If you're a reg­u­lar reader of this blog, you know I have an addic­tion to the Food Net­work. Me and Anna Olson, this tight. And, of course, I love Jamie Oliver. In fact, I've been enjoy­ing his lat­est show called 15-minute meals. I don't just love it because he some­how made the show's theme song, the 80's hit Buf­falo Stance from Neneh Cherry, relate to food but because he really does pre­pare his meals in 15 min­utes. Show off. Obvi­ously, he's mak­ing lots of pasta and fish dishes. (God bless the man if he can get his menagerie of chil­dren to eat mus­sels but it's not hap­pen­ing in my house.) How­ever, when­ever I go to repli­cate the recipes in my kitchen, I can't get them done in 15 min­utes. I think my kitchen has a weird time-warp. Or I'm warped.

Ok, I real­ize I don't have his knife skills but that can't be the only rea­son I can't pull off these dishes in 15. Maybe it's because I don't stroll into my kitchen and have every­thing nicely laid out on the counter wait­ing for me to jump in and pre­pare them. Instead, I'm usu­ally dig­ging around a cup­board (add 3 min­utes for this exer­cise) won­der­ing where the frig my box grater has gone to. (It was in the under bin of Scarlett's baby stroller. Obviously.)

It's the rea­son I've slowly used the last few weeks to super orga­nize my kitchen. I started to stream­line my draw­ers with the tools that I use reg­u­larly and remove all the extra gad­gets (say good­bye to my egg slicer). I've also taken the time to buy the ingre­di­ents I use the most (spelt flour, brown sugar, sea salt, etc) and put them in mason jars and con­tain­ers that are eas­ily acces­si­ble. In fact, I've moved most of my house­hold sta­ples into mason jars–No more fid­dling with half-opened pack­ages. Now, before you roll your eyes and mum­ble to your key­board, "Who has time for this crap?" please real­ize I don't either. This has been a slow sim­mer with me. I mean I bought the mason jars back in July. I per­co­lated about what I wanted and then I finally started to bite the orga­ni­za­tional bul­let back in Decem­ber. I didn't just wake up and get it done. If you wanted to tackle your kitchen because you think it needs an effi­ciency makeover maybe you'll be bet­ter than me and just do it in a day. Or maybe you're always effi­cient. Regard­less, the result has, in my opin­ion, helped me be more effi­cient, not to men­tion, my cab­i­nets look less junky. And it is, hope­fully, shav­ing time off my din­ner routine.

This recipe is an old one from Bon Appetit that I fid­dled with. I've made it with spinach here but you could also use kale (with the tough stems removed). I love that it fea­tures wal­nuts since there is a lot of hype around wal­nuts and their antiox­i­dant power for reduc­ing inflammation.

I also find it fast. Is it 15 min­utes fast? Sort off. If your knife skills are bet­ter than mine.

Sun­dried Tomato and Spinach Far­falli with Walnuts

1/4 cup extra vir­gin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped wal­nuts
1/4 cup drained and sliced oil-packed sun-dried toma­toes
3 cloves gar­lic, minced
1/4 tea­spoon dried crushed red pep­per
2 cups baby spinach
1 pound far­falle pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 table­spoons veg­etable stock or water
freshly grated parme­san cheese


In a small skil­let, warm wal­nuts over medium heat so they release their oils and are warm, about 3 min­utes. Remove from heat and place in small bowl. Set aside.

In a large skil­let over medium heat, heat oil and then add gar­lic, sun-dried toma­toes and crushed red pep­per. Saute until gar­lic is a golden brown, about 3 min­utes. Add a hand­ful of spinach in batches and cook until each batch is wilted.

Put a pot of salted water on the stove to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain.

In a large serv­ing bowl, whisk ricotta cheese with stock or water . (Use the water if you don't have any stock handy.) Then add spinach mix­ture, pasta and wal­nuts; toss to com­bine. Add salt and pep­per to taste and grate fresh parme­san cheese over top and serve.





  1. Susanne says:

    You've inspired me to orga­nize my kitchen.

    From your biggest fan,

  2. Laura Keogh says:

    I'm your biggest fan, and your kitchen is orga­nized! xoxo

  3. I love this idea. Sim­ple and healthy… And I love far­falle pasta!

  4. Christine says:

    This looks deli­cious — I love any pasta with spinach in it. And I think the wal­nuts will be a nice touch. I'm going to try it out tomor­row! Thanks.

  5. […] Sun­dried tomato and spinach far­falle with walnuts […]

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