With vinegar and cherry tomato brightness, sautéed onion sweetness, feta saltiness, and zucchini freshness, this crowd-pleaser does double duty as dinner and a picnic companion. This gluten free pasta meal is perfect for family dinner, too.
Penne with Vegetables, Olives, and Feta Gluten-Free Recipe
- 1 pound gluten-free penne or other short tubular pasta (like Rustichella d’Abruzzo brown rice penne)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing and drizzling
- 1 red onion, halved and sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into ½-inch-thick half-moons
- 1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 4 ounces 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions, but remove the pasta when al dente, about 1 minute early. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and toss with a little of the oil to prevent sticking.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the 3 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, sauté for 3 minutes longer, then add the tomatoes, another 1/2 teaspoon salt, and season with black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and zucchini is tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the spinach and the reserved cooking water to the pasta. Pour the vegetable mixture over the pasta, toss, and warm over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and toss. Add the olives and half of the feta and gently toss to combine.
Divide the pasta among dinner plates, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, top with the remaining feta, and serve.
Photography Erin Ng