Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Easy and perfect with fresh from the garden veggies, this Pasta with Spinach andTomatoes is great as a main course or side dish.

Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

It’s become pretty standard that I’m reposting old blog posts on Thursdays. Lots of very old recipes with very bad photos that are just crying for a redo. But how do I choose? This one was easy; I received a nice comment from a reader on how much they loved this Pasta with Fresh Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic so I checked the post and son of a gun; some REALLY old photos.

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Back in 2011 I was still taking much smaller landscape type (horizontal) photos. Not only did the photos need a redo but I needed to use up a ton of cherry tomatoes so timing was perfect. My cherry tomato plants are weird this year; I’m picking tomatoes that can’t be more than a quarter inch across. The two cups needed for this dish? I’m thinking it had no less than 35-40 tomatoes included!

Luckily I had everything else I needed on hand too and I was quickly on my way. The original recipe came from my friend Renee over at the blog Flamingo Musings and it’s become a family favorite. While I normally mix up something in a recipe; this one stays in tune with the original. I used green onions this time but only because I mistakenly bought them at two different stores the other day when I was doing grocery shopping…use them or lose them, that’s my motto.

This is one of those ‘so up my alley’ dishes; I’ve been cooking pasta with vegetables for years, long before it became popular or trendy. I have always loved the Pasta con Broccoli dish that is from a cookbook that belonged to my mother from the late 1950’s and my propensity to combine the two was solidified the year we had a bumper zucchini crop. I was DESPERATE to find something new to do with zucchini and into pasta it went.

It was prophetic when I first published this recipe that I had just received a box of beautiful homegrown garlic. For all the garlic I’ve had in my life, I have never known the person who grew it, but this time I did! A friend of mine lives in California and has a huge garden. I do believe I literally begged her to send me some; I think I was kidding but she was not. Look at that beautiful garlic. Thanks Carolyn. I still need to try growing my own!

Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

So simple, so fresh and best of all? So easy to make. This is always a hit; it’s gorgeous and delicious!

PIN ‘Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes’

Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes Served in a Large White Bowl

Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

Creative Culinary
Simple and fresh pasta salad with spinach, tomatoes and roasted garlic.
4.45 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Pasta, Potatoes, Rice & Grains
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 256 kcal


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 head of garlic roasted
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium onion cut into large dice
  • 1 box Bow-tie pasta
  • 6 oz baby spinach (I had a pre-washed bag of spinach I used it was a 6 oz package.
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes diced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese


  • Put half of the olive oil, roasted garlic cloves (see Notes for more info) and balsamic vinegar into a small food processor or a small bowl. Process or mash until the garlic is no longer large pieces.
  • Put the remaining oil and the butter into a saucepan with chopped onions, a pinch of salt and and some fresh ground pepper; cook the onion until translucent and starting to brown; add the garlic/oil mixture and thoroughly incorporate with the onions. Remove to bowl.
  • Using the same pot, fill with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions til al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
  • Add the uncooked baby spinach and the onion/garlic/oil mixture to the pot and toss together.
  • On medium heat, add the diced tomatoes, stirring to combine. Heat for an additional 2 minutes; stirring constantly.
  • Serve in bowls with fresh grated Parmesan cheese grated on top.


I used a bowl of fresh from the garden cherry tomatoes that I just had to cut in half. They were perfect but you could also dice larger tomatoes.
I just love how roasting garlic makes it so sweet. Here's how:
Peel off any loose paper on garlic bulbs you want to roast but don't separate the cloves; keeping the bulb form.
Cut off the top of the bulb exposing the raw cloves.
Put the bulbs into a heatproof dish and drizzle each one with some olive oil.
Salt and pepper each bulb.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325 for one hour. Cloves should be lightly brown.
When cool, simply squeeze the cloves out of the bulb.


Nutrition Facts
Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic
Serving Size
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. Barb I was immediately smitten with this when seeing the first photo on my email subscription to your blog. Gorgeous dish. Light enough for summer’s heat but something to transition into the cooler temps of fall that will be coming all too soon. A perfect pasta dish by my definition (and superb photos).

  2. I’ve always enjoyed the recipes on Renee’s blog and this looks like another great one. Simple, flavorful and packed with veggies. This is perfect for those days when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.

    1. This was an easy one for me…I do a ton of pasta, tomato and something else dishes…although not sure I’ve done spinach before, I’m glad I did it now. Yes, a perfect ‘it’s too hot to cook’ dish Dara.

    1. Don’t you think the best of summer fruits almost require simple? The fruit is the start…the topping is a nice accessory though!

    1. This is a great yet simple dish; perfect for a busy mom with kids too! Enjoy your trip to the Flamingo’s!

    1. I actually held back on the whole package of spinach but I’m revising that notion today (and the post); I loved having a lot of it in the dish too…especially if just ‘barely’ cooked. Missing leftovers for lunch today. Sob.

    1. Thank you Katie…this type of pasta has become more of my go to dish than anything with a heavier sauce. Probably doing it again this week with some zucchini and tomatoes; my favorite way to eat my veggies!

    1. Me too…and it was just that. I’ve been making similar pastas for years with a wide variety of veggies and pasta but have to admit…I always seem to find a way for garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

    1. I had planned to use mushrooms too but the ones I had were not ready for primetime! It does seem that almost any combo of fresh veggies would work. I love the spinach because the cooking time is almost nonexistent. Fast is sometimes the best isn’t it?

    1. Thanks Birthe…I’m with you…if it’s pasta, I’ll probably like it. Just never mix pasta with green pepper…well, at least not for me!

    1. Thanks Lana. I had actually planned to add mushrooms too, however, I should have planned to not leave them out on the counter in a plastic bag. Nope…they weren’t going in. Next time though.

  3. This looks so yummy – always looking for a way to use up the extra cherry tomatoes from the garden….and if you’re going to force pasta on me, I can’t refuse!

  4. I love that I have everything to make this on most nights. So simple and satisfying. I can’t wait for some more of my tomatoes to ripen up!

    1. Think about switching it up too…zucchini if no spinach, red peppers, mushrooms…it’s just a great base for a veggie pasta.

  5. This is gorgeous! I am not a pasta fan at all but you have all the right (enticing) ingredients. The photos are gorgeous too.
    Nice and sunny here and the kids do not go back to school for another ten days so I will slot this in for one of their lunches!
    Hope you are well. Hugs all round.

    1. I love the garlic/balsamic dressing…and really, with great fresh ingredients I bet you would, well, like it? Hope you are too…hugs back at ya!

    1. Thank you Rachel; the photo stuff is new to me; so I always really appreciate those kind comments.

  6. Beautiful eye popping color. I am such a pasta freak myself. Funny because I never used to be! Probably because I only ate it in macaroni salad and spaghetti…until I started making my own dishes. 🙂

    1. I always loved it but never the actual pasta; I think I just loved it as the vehicle for sauce. Now I seldom use red sauce, preferring a lighter one most often and really appreciate the pasta and the veggies as a favorite combination now. See…old dog, new trick…it can happen!

  7. Yay you Barbara…you used my fave ingredient – garlic, and roasted? Even bettah!! LOVED reading the post, and love the pasta you’ve picked from Renee…the canning flamingo queen! I met her on twitter too, and she is just wonderful! Strange that most of us met and got to know each other well on twitter over the past 3 years! Gla we met!! HUGS!!

    1. Strange coincidence that we were in a circle. You did my post, I did Renee’s and Renee had yours. I know so few of the bloggers participating that I thought that was fun for us tweeps too!

    1. I’ve waited a long time for some fresh from the garden tomatoes; if they had been bigger, I would have had a plain old tomato sandwich, but those cherry tomatoes were perfect for this dish. And…thanks (it does taste as good as it looks too!).

  8. The Hub loved this recipe! I used white balsamic, added shrimp, and made it up cold so spinach & our garden tomatoes could shine.

    1. True, right? But another truth…I make most of my pasta and my pizza with veggies and olive oil. I can’t remember when I had red sauce!

    1. Spinach is great in pasta…but I like it just ‘barely’ wilted. Renee cooked hers a bit longer so it really is personal preference. Let me know if you try it Shulie.

    1. Thanks very much Sara…the cooking I’ve done a long time…the photo stuff not so much so any kudos on those results are especially appreciated!

  9. This looks just perfect. Roasted garlic is an amazing ingredient.
    Thanks for sharing the link to Flamingo Musings – I keep kosher and am trying to learn canning, so this sounds like a great site for me to check out.

    1. When something like this works with the sharing of blogs and info…isn’t that the best part of it?

    1. I loved it…planning on making the Cilantro Lime chicken for dinner…tonight the pasta can be a side!

  10. Barbara, Beautiful and healthy pasta dish..I can almost smell the garlic spinach. The tang of balsamic vinegar sounds perfect to offset the rich flavor.

    That said, no idea who was assigned my blog, can’t find any of my recipes or any recipes that are close. I’m stumped, but curious lol

    Finally, I didn’t know Jennifer, but what happened to her hit hard. The last dance made for lots of Kleenex. Making my pie for Mikey today. Didn’t find out until Friday, and was away most of weekend.

    1. I do love my balsamic and it was a touch that I’m glad I added. Hope you found your blog! I know some had not posted; so not fair, hope it wasn’t you!

  11. Not only a fabulous looking pasta dish, but that garlic is a thing to behold! I wanted to grow some this year, but we didn’t get to it, so it’ll have to be a next year thing. I can’t wait for our garden to start really producing this summer, though!

    1. Isn’t it beautiful. The garlic that is? I’ve so glad I embarrassed myself with my begging…it was the prettiest garlic I’ve EVAH seen!

    2. Hi Elle! I encourage you to try growing garlic. It’s a fun crop that doesn’t take too much work and is very rewarding. I’m not sure what zone you gardeni in, but here in north Florida, we plant ours in the fall, and it grows all winter long. So research when you should plant it in your zone, and don’t wait too long! 🙂

      1. Yes Elle I think you should grow garlic too…then next year I can be a taste tester for YOU! And thank you again Carolyn…just loved it so much.

  12. First, thank you so much for your kind words, Barb! Coming from you, high praise, indeed. You are, as they say in the vernacular, “teh awesome!” 😀

    This pasta dish is still one of my favorite weeknight meals. I’ve even made it on the road for that gang referred to in the comments. I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with it. And your photos make the dish look even more special.

    And now I have to track down some of Carolyn’s garlic, too!

    1. Certainly Renee…and I do love this dish; it is reminiscent of the ways I like to eat when I have nothing planned but still crave something good. Most excited to have again tonight for leftovers…even easier!

    2. Hi Renee! How funny that our mutual friend, Barbara, used your recipe and my garlic to make this beautiful dish! Renee and I have been tweeting about canning for quite some time now. And she’s hilarious and a great cook! I really do love the connections we make through food and blogging. XO!

    1. Thanks Nancy..I’m a sucker for anything with garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar…and it sure worked here!

    1. Well, first, thank you but more importantly? I know…isn’t it BEAUTIFUL. Sort of hated to cook it; would have liked better to have preserved it forever!

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