Salami, Black Olive and Ricotta Penne Pasta

Cheesy Lemon Pasta w/ Salami, Olives & Spinach

This is a ‘kitchen sink’ type of pasta recipe with salami, spinach, black olives, Ricotta Salata, and Parmesan cheese dressed lightly with lemon and olive oil. I woke one morning with the dream of it clinging to my lips. Yep. While you might dream of prince charming, riches, or of lying on the beach with your toes in the sand I dream of salami and black olives. And I’m a firm believer in following your dreams.

Every bite of this bountiful pasta is brimming with a deliciousness for which there is no escape. Salami and black olives are finger foods for me but when you add them to the ultimate comfort food – pasta – something amazing happens. I swear I could eat this every day. For the rest of my life.

Cheesy Lemon Pasta w/ Salami, Olives & Spinach

The lemon is barely distinguishable but freshens up the flavors so their brighter. For a stronger lemon taste grate some of the peel in or add the juice of a second lemon to taste. If you have fresh basil on hand (I didn’t) toss some in or sprinkle over top. The reserved pasta water is crucial to the dish. Ricotta Salata and Parmesan are firm, dry cheeses that won’t melt much. Along with the lemon juice and olive oil the pasta water is needed to make up the sauce. Without it the pasta will be extremely dry.

The best way to grate the Ricotta Salata and Parmesan for this is with a microplane. It will cause the little specks of cheese to stick in every little nook and cranny they possibly can and work their way right into the middles of the olives and penne. Totally delectable.

Cheesy Lemon Pasta w/ Salami, Olives & Spinach

Cheesy Lemon Pasta w/ Salami, Olives & Spinach
(by Reeni)
8 ounces Penne Pasta (like Barila Whole Grain)
1 cup Chopped Spinach, frozen
1 tablespoon Butter
1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil, for sauteing
1/2 pound Hard Salami, sliced, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 can small Black Pitted Olives, drained
4 ounces Ricotta Salata, finely grated (about 1 + 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 Lemon, juiced
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, about 2 tablespoons, plus more for serving
1 and 1/2 cups Reserved Pasta Water
Sea salt and fresh Black pepper
Fresh basil, chopped
1. Cook Penne in plenty of salted water according to package directions to al dente. You will need to reserve 1 and 1/2 cups of the water before draining. Drain and toss with butter and 2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.
2. While the pasta is cooking saute the onion in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan until soft and tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the frozen spinach and more oil if needed, saute until tender. Add the salami and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until warm.
3. In a large mixing bowl toss the pasta, salami mixture, olives, cheeses, lemon juice and reserved pasta water together. Add more Olive Oil if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil.
4. Serve with a drizzle of Olive oil and Parmesan.

Cheesy Lemon Pasta w/ Salami, Olives & Spinach

I’m sending this to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Kirsten of From Kirsten’s Kitchen to Yours this week.

I’m also sending this to Natasha’s 5 Star Pasta Makeover!

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Cheesy Lemon Pasta W/ Salami, Olives & Spinach

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