, How to Video, Step by step

Fiorelli with wilted spinach, blistered tomato, and lemon

This delicious pasta with spinach and tomato makes a great meat-free meal.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service.

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Serves: 16


  • Step 1

    Fill a large pan with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add a teaspoon salt and then add the pasta and cook approximately 8-10 minutes until al dente.

  • Step 2

    Add the asparagus to the pan of pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

  • Step 3

    Drain the pasta and asparagus together in a colander, place into a large mixing bowl and keep warm.

  • Step 4

    Heat 30ml of olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add the tomatoes and cook on a high heat for 1 minute - they will ‘blister’.

  • Step 5

    Now add the spinach to the pan and cook for a further minute. Take off the heat, lightly turning over the spinach to wilt.

  • Step 6

    Add the wilted spinach and tomatoes to the pasta and asparagus. Pour over the remaining 40ml of olive oil, add the lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Gently combine all ingredients.

  • Step 7

    To serve, divide the pasta mix into serving bowls and dot spoonfuls of fresh pesto across the top.


  • Pasta makes a great base for this meat-free, plant-based meal.
  • Pasta is made from durum wheat mixed with water or eggs and has a surprisingly long history, widely discussed by food historians.
  • It is believed to have been eaten in some form in ancient Greece and China and the Romans made a pasta-like dough but fried it.
  • It has been suggested, but not universally agreed, that pasta was introduced to Sicily by the Arabs in the 9th century and that Mediterranean trading led to its establishment in Italy. Certainly, more references to pasta, as we know it, appeared in recipe information from Italy in the 13th and 14th centuries.
  • Mark has combined a good variety of vegetables with the pasta. The asparagus, tomatoes, and spinach provide an excellent array of the different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and fibre that we need to maintain health, and more is added by the green pesto, whether made from basil or spinach.
  • Most importantly, these vegetables are only lightly cooked, helping retain their nutrient content. Each serving of this delicious dish would provide 1-2 portions of your 5 A Day – you could add a crisp green salad to boost this even more.