Orzo pasta with wilted spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar - goes well with fish or chicken.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. (Firm or slightly undercooked orzo works best for this dish.) Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl, and set aside.

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  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring to blend. Stir in garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes, and reduce heat to medium. Stir in pine nuts and cook until lightly browned. Add spinach, cover, and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

  • Toss spinach mixture with orzo pasta. Portion onto serving plates with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese and chopped tomatoes. Allow guests to adjust seasoning with salt, as needed. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

549.8 calories; 17.4 g protein; 49.1 g carbohydrates; 32.9 mg cholesterol; 514.3 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (197)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/26/2006
I thought this was wonderful. It was very tasty and fun to make. My advice to anyone who makes it make sure you use balsamic vinegar at the end (it's not optional!) otherwise this will be a very bland dish. I skipped over the balsamic vinegar for the first bite thought it was boring then added it in and it transformed the dish and rocketed it from 3 stars to 5. This also tastes great with baked zucchini chips on the side. Read More
(56)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
05/03/2011
Too much oil half the pasta double the spinach Read More
(5)
272 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 171
  • 4 star values: 81
  • 3 star values: 13
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
02/26/2006
I thought this was wonderful. It was very tasty and fun to make. My advice to anyone who makes it make sure you use balsamic vinegar at the end (it's not optional!) otherwise this will be a very bland dish. I skipped over the balsamic vinegar for the first bite thought it was boring then added it in and it transformed the dish and rocketed it from 3 stars to 5. This also tastes great with baked zucchini chips on the side. Read More
(56)
Rating: 4 stars
02/13/2009
This was a hit and a miss in our house. I liked the idea of the feta but not hubs so I unfortunately had to leave it out. I loved the little spark the red pepper flakes added but it was a little too hot for hubby's sensitive innards so be careful with children or those who can't tolerate any "heat." And I didn't even use as much as the recipe called for! Because this is such a fresh and colorful dish I thought it would be better suited with fresh basil and I used halved grape tomatoes for additional color and texture. I went heavier on the garlic about one clove for the recipe scaled to two servings. I served this with a rather robust chicken dish so the fact this was light on any additional spices or herbs made this the perfect accompaniment. I think what I like best about this is that it's just so darn pretty on the plate! Read More
(43)
Rating: 5 stars
05/08/2005
Very good. I tried this recipe to use up some extra pine nuts and I wasn't just pleasantly surprised I was astonished how good it was. The cheese adds a delicious creaminess; the tomatoes provide a refreshing tang; the pine nuts give a wonderful fragrance; the orzo and wilted spinach in spices serve as a nice base. And it's quite pretty. One nice feature of the recipe is that the main ingredients are prepared separately so each person can mix them to his or her own preference. (I like more spinach (50% more) and much more tomatoes (100% more) and less cheese (33% less).) Some changes: I used half the olive oil and 2/3rds the butter. Read More
(34)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/16/2004
Elegant is right! Really easy to make and it tasted gourmet! I had tomato/basil feta which was excellent on top. I might toss in a few sundried tomatoes next time. Will definitely make again!! Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2006
Absolutely first rate! Follow other reviewers advice and cut way back on the fats - 2 tablespoons of olive oil and no butter. Also didn't add any tomato because they're so disgusting this time of year. Made far more than we could eat in one meal so I stirred in some quartered artichoke hearts and balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing and had a delicious pasta salad! Thanks for the post! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
07/09/2006
I've made this about six times now and I find myself looking forward to it each time. Other reviewers are correct don't skimp on the spinach and cut the oil. Great for a summer side dish. Read More
(15)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/05/2005
This recipe was great! Only additions were capers sundried tomatoes and black olives! YUM! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
02/07/2006
This recipe was great. I didn't have any orzo on hand so substituted it with Basmati rice and it worked out wonderfully. This was a great way to sneak in some spinach without any complaints. Read More
(10)
Rating: 4 stars
09/02/2006
I'm in the "just okay" camp. Definitely needs some more zip. After the pine nuts and spinach are sauteed my reaction was "That's a lot of oil to pour over the orzo." But it works out fine. The problem is that it IS too bland. I'd lower the olive oil next time and replace it with red wine vinegar tsp. of salt and 1/2 red onion. Looks pretty...has great potential...but B-L-A-H. Read More
(10)
Rating: 3 stars
05/03/2011
Too much oil half the pasta double the spinach Read More
(5)