This Mediterranean Pasta is the breezy social butterfly of the dinner recipe crowd. So effortless! So chic! A light, easygoing mix of angel hair pasta, fresh lemon, and classic Mediterranean ingredients like tomato, Parmesan, and artichoke, this simple but splendid healthy pasta recipe can carry itself at any meal. Whether it’s a hectic family weeknight meal or romantic date night in, this Mediterranean Pasta belongs.
I prize recipes that combine pantry staples and fresh ingredients to create fast, healthy meals. It means that I only need to buy one or two things to make dinner, it’s often less expensive, AND because pantry items are typically quick and convenient, it means I can get dinner on the table sooner too.
This Mediterranean Pasta is a perfect example.
Mediterranean Pasta—Fast Meets Fresh
On Team Fast, we have the pasta, canned artichokes, and olives. Each of these items takes minutes to prepare (Steam and section whole fresh artichokes on a weeknight? No. Open a can of artichoke hearts and add them to a quick pasta? Yes!), adds depth of flavor (olives, thanks for the salty-umami factor), and will only add a few dollars to your grocery bill.
On Team Fresh, we have sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes, chopped garlic, fresh lemon juice, and grated Parmesan. It’s a classic Mediterranean combo that brings the pasta to life.
This easy, one-pan vegetarian pasta recipe comes from my friend Mary’s new cookbook The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook, a followup to her first, equally wonderful book The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook.
The book is brilliantly divided into sections for quick recipes and make-ahead recipes, meaning that you can turn to it both when you have time to plan in advance and when you walk through the door and in an utter moment of panic find yourself asking: What on earth are we going to eat???
Like this Mediterranean Pasta, the recipes in Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts are a testament to the fact that a recipe doesn’t need to be long, time-consuming, or complicated to be delicious. Many of the lunch recipes work well for dinner too.
Mediterranean Pasta Recipe Variations
Thanks to the hearty artichokes, I found this Mediterranean Pasta plenty satisfying when left vegetarian. If you prefer to add meat, you can make this Mediterranean Pasta with chicken or Mediterranean Pasta with shrimp. For shrimp, I’d suggest sautéing or grilling the shrimp separately, then tossing it with the pasta at the end.
For those seeking shredded chicken pasta recipes, try combining this Mediterranean Pasta with my quick and easy method for How to Cook Shredded Chicken. You can shred or dice the chicken and toss it in with the pasta at the end.
To make the Mediterranean Pasta vegan, you can simply omit the Parmesan.
For a different spin, instead of Parm, make the Mediterranean Pasta with feta. We served our leftovers this way, and that was delicious too.
What to Serve with Mediterranean Pasta
- A simple green salad is perfect for this pasta. For something a bit heartier, try this Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.
- This dish is also great with roasted vegetables, especially these Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
Mediterranean Pasta with tomatoes, artichoke, garlic, and lemon. A fast, healthy pasta recipe that’s easy to make and filled with bright flavor! Keep the recipe vegetarian or serve with chicken or shrimp. A nutritious all-in-one meal.
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt — plus 1 teaspoon, divided
- 6 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta — whole wheat spaghetti, or similar whole wheat noodles (I recommend DeLallo whole wheat pasta)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups grape tomatoes — or cherry tomatoes
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts — (14 ounces)
- 1 can whole pitted black olives — (6 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — about 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley — chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain.
While the water boils and pasta cooks, prep your vegetables and remaining ingredients: mince the garlic; halve the cherry tomatoes; drain and roughly chop the artichokes; drain and slice the olives in half. Once the vegetables start cooking, the recipe goes quickly, so you want to be ready.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes begin to break down and release some juices into the oil, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add the artichokes and olives. Drizzle the lemon juice over the pasta. Continue tossing and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until warmed through. If the pasta seems too dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Toss once more and enjoy.
- Tips from Mary, the recipe's author: Don't skimp on the olive oil or parsley. Both are key to giving the final dish great flavor.
- To reheat: Warm gently in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water to keep the pasta from drying out.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 267, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 18g
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