This easy, veggie-packed pasta dish is the solution to your busy weeknight dinner dilemma. Farfalle with Artichokes, White Beans and Spinach is a delicious and healthy meal that is ready in about 30 minutes.
How To Make a Healthier Pasta Dish
Not all pasta dishes are created equal. There are a few ways to spice up a plain bowl of pasta so that it's not only tasty, but nourishing as well. These tips will help give your dish a serious boost of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals not to mention fiber and protein, which is key to slowing down glucose absorption and keep you feeling full for longer.
Toss in greens.
Mixing in greens like kale, spinach, collard greens and arugula can significantly boost the nutrient content of your pasta dish by supplying key antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Use beans and legumes.
Pasta and beans are a match made in heaven. I love using cannellini beans, like I did in this week's featured recipe. They are super creamy and add a nice texture to any pasta dish. If you're looking for a way to get the kids to eat more legumes, toss some red lentils into your marinara sauce while it's simmering. They soften up and become almost undetectable in the sauce, yet still provide all the iron, fiber and other nutrients kids may be lacking in their diets.
Add in your favorite vegetables.
Think roasted cauliflower, artichokes (canned works really well), mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli and shredded Brussels sprouts. Those are some of my favorites!
Use fresh or dried herbs.
Herbs are more than just aromatic and flavorful. They are full of antioxidants, essential vitamins and nutrients. Herbs like basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage add a burst of fresh flavor and can make many dishes more visually appealing and elegant.
Sprinkle on some nuts.
I'm a big fan of sprinkling a handful nuts such as walnuts or pine nuts onto vegetable based pasta dishes. Adding different types of nuts into homemade pesto can also add unique flavor. Pine nuts are light and lemony, while walnuts and almonds are more earthy and rich. It's a great way help meet your daily dose of healthy fats while adding some extra texture and flavor.
For this dish, I use canned artichokes (but defrosted frozen artichokes would work just as well), cannellini beans, baby spinach and some kalamata olives to add a burst of salty flavor. The ingredients are simply warmed in a saute pan with some garlic and oil, before tossing in the cooked farfalle. The spinach is added to the pan off the heat at the very end as as it wilts easily into the pasta. So easy!
You can top it all with your favorite grated cheese!
If you like this recipe you may also like my Gnocchi with Sundried Tomato Pesto.
Farfalle with Artichokes, White Beans and Spinach
- 1 lb farfalle pasta
- 2 15 oz artichoke hearts drained
- 1 bag baby spinach
- 1 15 oz cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- ½ cup kalamata olives pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions
- In meantime, heat olive oil in a large saute pan.
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Toss in the artichokes, beans and season with salt and pepper and saute only until heated through.
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan (don't forget to reserve some of the pasta water).
- Toss in the spinach and olives.
- Ladle the reserved pasta water into the pan and gently toss to combine pasta and vegetables.
- Top with fresh thyme, and an extra drizzle of olive oil or favortie grated cheese if desired.
- Season with additional freshly ground pepper if desired.
sounds good to me. maybe a protein could be added too!
Spoonful of Plants says
Hi Jean! You sure can add whatever protein you like. The beans do provide a good amount of plant-based protein and make the dish quite filling.
Holly Andersen says
This was definitely a healthy and delicious dish! Thanks so much for sharing it.
Spoonful of Plants says
Thanks so much Holly! So glad you liked it!! Donna
Ann Troshinski says
Very delicious and filling even without the beans! No butter, no milk I noticed. No problem for me except it did come out dry. I am not a good cook and do not blame the recipe. I almost put cottage cheese mixed with parmeson in it at the end. Is that a good idea? How could I add some spices with heat to it? My daughter is asking because in my version, the olives had to carry all of the taste. Again, not the recipe's fault.
Spoonful of Plants says
Hi Ann, thanks for writing! Since this recipe is plant-based, I do not use dairy. To answer your question about the dryness, maybe next time reserve a bit more pasta water to add in at the end and you can always drizzle on more olive oil. Make sure you are seasoning the spinach and artichokes with a coarse salt as they heat up which adds dimension and brings our flavor in the veggies. You could also add in a pinch of red pepper flakes to add a bit of spice/heat. Obviously you can add whatever you feel you'd enjoy and see how it tastes to you! Hope that helps. Best, Donna