Spinach and Pine Nut Rotini


My family has had the flu this week so I haven’t had a chance to plan menus, make grocery lists, or go shopping.  So tonight was one of those times when I perused the refrigerator and the pantry looking for something to make.   There was a bag of baby spinach in the refrigerator, so I decided to toss that together with some ingredients I always have on hand: pasta, garlic, olive oil, canned tomatoes, and pine nuts (I keep a Costco-sized bag of them in my freezer).  The end result was quite delicious!  I’ll definitely be adding this combination to my recipe box.


  • 1 lb whole wheat rotini
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes*
  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted**
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Boil pasta according to package directions.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juices, and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add cooked pasta and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss in fresh baby spinach and let sit over low heat until spinach begins to wilt.  It will seem like a lot of spinach at first but it will shrink down a lot!  Add toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.  Keep extra virgin olive oil on the table for drizzling over each individual serving for a nice touch!

* If you cannot find petite diced tomatoes, then drain the juices from regular stewed or diced tomatoes directly into the skillet, then transfer tomatoes to a cutting board and chop before adding to the dish.

**To toast raw pine nuts, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and put directly under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  Watch these closely or they will burn!

3 comments Add yours
  1. Oh, that looks good!
    Our house is like a house divided. There’s my vegan dinners and then the rest of the family’s starchy, meaty cheese covered excess. My daughter has started looking longingly at my food, and my husband keeps struggling with this cold. I tell him “try some of this” and he shakes his head.

    Resistance is futile. He’ll cave eventually. But he hates spinach, so maybe it won’t be from this dish.

  2. I made this for dinner tonight, it was great! I added white wine to the tomato mixture (a spontaneous band-aid when it needed more moisture) and it was great! I’ll definitely make this again – with wine (purposefully) and add more spinach next time. Thanks! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  3. Megan – glad you enjoyed it! I’ll have to try adding white wine…it always give a dish that little something extra, I think.

    Mary – I have a similar recipe (from Vegan Planet) that calls for roasted asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts with pasta…maybe your husband would like that? We are getting really delicious local asparagus right now.

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