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Penne with Green Olives and Feta Recipe

Penne with Green Olives and Feta Recipe

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Olives and feta make this healthy pasta dish ultra-flavorful


  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, spinach left whole, other greens cut into 1-inch strips (about 10 cups packed)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

Recipe Preparation

  • Mix parsley, lemon peel and garlic in small bowl; set aside.

  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add greens and cook just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer greens to colander to drain. Return water to boil. Add pasta and cook just until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot; add greens and 3 tablespoons oil and toss. Stir in olives, feta, and enough reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with parsley mixture and serve.

,Photos by Coral von ZumwaltReviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • dried oregano to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente drain.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the garlic 2 minutes. Mix in mushrooms and zucchini. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in olives, and cook until heated through. Place pasta in the skillet, toss to coat, and continue cooking about 2 minutes. Top with feta cheese to serve.


  • In a large pot, bring 6 qt. water and 2 Tbs. salt to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it immediately with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Let it cool completely in the refrigerator.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 6 Tbs. olive oil with the vinegar and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the penne, the chopped oregano, red onions, olives, capers, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. (At this point, you can refrigerate the pasta for up to a few hours.) To serve, add the feta and stir until just combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn the pasta into a serving bowl and garnish with the oregano sprigs.

Recipe Notes

Add to List


  • 1 Pound penne pasta
  • 2 6-ounce cans black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and light green part only, sliced
  • 1 15-oz jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
  • 3 Ounces baby spinach, cut into ribbons
  • 1/4 Cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 Ounces feta cheese, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and pine nuts in a large bowl.

Add the drained pasta to the bowl and toss to combine.

While the pasta is still warm, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to combine.

Amador Foothill Winery

• 2 TBSP chopped fresh Italian parsley
• 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
• 1 small clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 large bunch of lacinato or green kale, thick stems removed
and cut crosswise into 1 inch strips
• 6 oz penne rigate
• 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
• 1/4 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
• 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (made with sheep &/or goats milk)

Combine parsley, lemon peel and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add kale and cook 3-4 minutes, until just tender.
Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain in a colander.
Return water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, warm 2 TBSP oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add parsley mixture and, stirring, cook for 1 minute. Add drained kale and continue stirring and tossing until kale is coated with oil and parsley. Add a bit of pasta boiling water if it appears dry.

Scoop up 1/4 cup of pasta boiling water, then drain pasta and add to pan with kale. Add olives. Stir and toss pasta with kale mixture and olives. Add pasta boiling water if it appears dry but be careful not to add too much. Add ½ the cheese and toss to mix. Serve pasta topped with remaining cheese. Drizzle with 1 TBSP remaining olive oil.

Accompany with crusty bread and Amador Foothill Sangiovese. Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit, April, 2008.

The Innovative Mama

I keep getting some great new pasta recipes and I can’t get enough of them right now. They’re all so different from each other as well. Pasta is great when you want something that is not going to take a lot of time. I’ve always been a big pasta fan. I’d eat it every day if I had to! I am also a big fan of feta cheese. So this is one of those recipes that went over well all around. The flavor was fantastic. Heating up the garlic first really made an impact.

There are some other pasta dishes I am going to be trying in the near future… so if you’re enjoying these dishes as much as I have been, stay tuned!

  • 1 box penne rigate or other pasta (I stuck with the penne)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (being the big garlic fan that I am, I put a little more than this in… it was worth it!)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup halved and pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried or 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil on medium in a large nonstick skillet. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

3. Add mixture to pasta in a bowl along with the olives, feta cheese, parsley, and basil. Toss gently to mix. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.

One-Pot Pasta Recipe with Greens, Olives & Feta ♥

1) They take too long to get to the table. Pasta is supposed to be fast, right? -- zip, zip, done. But it takes forever to bring the water to a boil. SOLUTION: Use an electric kettle to boil the water. At the same time, heat up the cooking pot with just an inch or so of water. Together, this makes a big improvement, time-wise. If the idea appeals, I have a small electric kettle from Presto but there's an electric kettle style for every taste for anyone who's interested.

2) They take too many pots, some times three. THIS RECIPE's SOLUTION: Cook the greens and the pasta separately but in the same water then toss in the remaining ingredients. Aha - a one-pot pasta recipe.

I loved the simplicity of this pasta recipe, one developed for the April 2008 issue of Bon Appetit by Molly Stevens of All About Braising fame. (Is it just me or is Bon Appetit really ramping up their use of vegetables in recipes? Every issue, I find myself tagging more and more recipe possibilities for A Veggie Venture.)

The cooked pasta and greens are topped with a mix of parsley, lemon zest and minced raw -- very raw -- garlic. I found this superfluous so next time will skip the parsley entirely and just toss the zest and garlic into the hot pasta.
Mustard greens seemed like a good choice of greens. The idea was that their slight 'bite' would contrast well with the soft pasta, salty olives and tangy feta. Instead, the mustard greens melted into a big mass of messiness, hard to distribute throughout the pasta. Next time I'll use spinach leaves (not baby spinach, too tender to hold up) or broccoli rabe or kale.

As always, I allowed only two ounces of pasta per person - while we might want to eat more, this is the sensible portion, despite the four ounces that recipes typically call for. To her credit, Molly Stevens allows only 2 - 2-1/2 ounces per serving.)
I also dropped the olive oil from 5 tablespoons to one, a big calorie saver. There's no knowing of course how good it might have been with more olive oil, but then again, when savoring this noodle by noodle, I wasn't thinking, "Gosh, this sure could use some more fat."
With Dreamfields pasta, this technically falls into low-carb territory.

FREE ICONS for BLOGGERS Share your love of fresh produce, whether from the farmers market, your own garden or even a CSA farmbox. Four icons celebrate fresh local vegetables and fruits -- and my fellow bloggers are invited to use them on their own blogs. Here's more information about the free icons for bloggers.


1 pound leafy greens, preferably spinach (not baby spinach) or broccoli rabe or maybe kale, thick stems removed, cut into one-inch strips (makes about 10 cups gently packed)
8 ounces penne pasta (I used Dreamfields Pasta, the low-glycemic pasta so good for low-carb diets and diabetic regimens)
Salt & pepper to taste

Zest of a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 tablespoon olive olive (reduced from 5 tablespoons)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

Bring the water to a boil. Add the greens and cook until just tender, 1 - 6 minutes depending on the greens. With a slotted spoon, lift out the greens and let drain in a colander. Return the water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until done, stirring occasionally. Lift out the pasta into the colander, then drain the pot -- but save a couple of cups of liquid.

Return the pasta to the hot pot. Stir in the greens and olive oil. Season to taste. Toss in remaining ingredients plus enough of the cooking liquid to just moisten. Serve immediately.

Made with 8 ounces of pasta and 1 tablespoon olive oil: Per Serving: 312 Cal (48% from Fat, 23% from Protein, 28% from Carb) 12 g Protein 11 g Tot Fat 4 g Sat Fat 5 g Mono Fat 14 g Carb 7 g Fiber NetCarb7 2 g Sugar 177 mg Calcium 2 mg Iron 428 mg Sodium 19 mg Cholesterol Weight Watchers 6 points

If made with 16 ounces past and 5 tablespoons olive oil: Per Serving: 624 Cal (57% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 24% from Carb) 19 g Protein 25 g Tot Fat 6 g Sat Fat 15 g Mono Fat 25 g Carb 12 g Fiber NetCarb13 3 g Sugar 177 mg Calcium 2 mg Iron 429 mg Sodium 19 mg Cholesterol Weight Watchers 14 points

Bon Appetit, April 2008

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Do you suffer from lachanophobia? Turn to A Veggie Venture and Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg for the best vegetable recipes online. Find a quick recipe for tonight's vegetable in the Alphabet of Vegetables or plan menus with vegetables in every course. If you're a dieter, turn to hundreds of zero-point, one- and two-point Weight Watchers recipes and many low carb recipes.
© Copyright 2008

Now this recipe is already incredibly simple but there are a few tips to make it even easier I wanted to share. This recipe calls for diced onions and bell peppers.

Another time saving tip is to use a small food chopper or food processor to quickly and easily chop the onions and peppers.

If you do not have one of these, I highly recommend them. They are such a time saver and you make cooking so fast and easy.

After you have what you need for the Greek Salad, freeze the rest for other recipes. I usually just chop the entire vegetable and freeze what I don’t need.

It’s so nice to be able to just take the diced onion out of the freezer for recipes. This is how I meal prep. It’s so quick and easy and helps get dinner on the table fast.

Learn and how to freeze onions and also how to freeze peppers to save so much time in the kitchen! Lots of the recipes we cook call for onions and peppers so this is such a great time tip that we use frequently.

Penne with Italian Sausage, Fresh Tomatoes, Feta, & Herbs

For a weeknight dinner that is super easy to prepare try this Penne with Fresh Tomatoes, Feta, and Herbs. Want to mix things up a bit? Replace the sausage with bite sized cubes of cooked chicken or turkey breast, use whole grape tomatoes instead of chopped, or add capers and chopped green & black olives for a real Mediterranean twist. This pasta is great served with salad and a hunk of crusty whole wheat baguette and makes more than enough for lunches the next day.

Penne with Italian Sausage, Fresh Tomatoes, Feta, & Herbs

2 pounds tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
1 16 ounce package Chicken or Turkey Sweet Italian Sausage, sliced diagonally, browned well, and drained
1 cup green onions, green and white parts diagonally sliced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon, chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 13.5 ounce box Whole Grain Penne pasta

Mix first 8 ingredients in a large pasta bowl. Set mixture aside.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Add hot pasta to tomato mixture and gently toss to coat. Add Olive Oil, Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and gently toss.

Penne With Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Green Beans and Feta

Sweet, juicy heirloom tomatoes lend themselves well to uncooked tomato sauces. In summer, I make quick meals out of chopped ripe tomatoes, pasta and green vegetables.


  • 6 to 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed, strings removed if necessary, and broken in half if very long
  • 2 cups chopped fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 plump garlic clove, minced (more to taste)
  • Salt (I like to use a very good coarse sea salt or fleur de sel for this)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons slivered basil
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta (about 1/2 cup)
  • ¾ pound pasta (penne or fusilli are good choices)
Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)


  1. Combine the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes (or longer).
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the green beans to the boiling water, and boil four to five minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them. Remove with a strainer or skimmer, and transfer to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, about eight minutes. When the pasta is ready, drop the green beans back into the water to heat, then drain the pasta and beans and toss at once with the tomato mixture and the feta. Serve hot or room temperature.

Advance preparation: The sauce can be assembled several hours ahead. If you want the basil to maintain its vivid color, leave it out until just before serving.

Watch the video: Ζυμαρικά με Ψητή Φέτα και Ντοματίνια. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (July 2022).


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