Pasta Dinner Week: Spelt Penne with Broccoli and Feta

Pasta Dinner Week: Spelt Penne with Broccoli and Feta

I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like pasta. In fact, if you know one, or perhaps it’s one of your own, please write because I want to find out what the parent of this unique child defaults to when all other dinner options fail. I’d also want to give them a medal. I mean gosh, if I didn’t have pasta to fall back on, I’d just plummet into a dinner abyss. In less dramatic terms, that means I’d cry.

Pasta dishes can be a breeze and with all the fresh ingredients available this time of year, you can make a crazy good dish. The ease of a pasta meal is never more apparent for me then when I’m at our cottage. Take the day I made this dish. We painted rocks, swam, kayaked, swam, hiked, the whole lot. I didn’t want to stop the day’s activities to make dinner. In fact, I dilly-dallied by having a fishing contest with Scarlett. I just didn’t want to go in and cook. When I finally bit the bullet, it was late and Scarlett was chiming her usual tune, “I’m so hungry I can’t even wait.” so Dad slipped her some apple slices and I went to work.

Spelt Penne with Broccoli and Feta

10 oz. spelt penne pasta
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta, plus a little extra for garnish
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to directions on package.

Meanwhile, put 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, peppers and broccoli and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until broccoli is crisp but cooked. Add stock and feta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add cooked and drained pasta with the remainder 1/2 tablespoon oil as well as salt and pepper, then toss and gently combine. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of feta to garnish.

Normally, Scarlett would help with meal prep, but she was pretty wiped from the day. So she stared from the couch at her favorite scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original version with Gene Wilder, of course) where Violet blows up into a blueberry while I whipped around our tiny kitchen.

I’m not sure if it was the sun, sand or the activity, but she polished off her plate and part of her father’s too. She also wanted to eat the dish I’d fancied up for the photo here. In other words, my kid devoured this dish. I hope your kids do too. And, if they’re the ones who don’t like pasta, please write. I’m sure I can get that medal to you somehow.

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