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Simple Pasta Shells with Vegetables

This is a healthy, quick and simple pasta and vegetable dish. Fresh flavors and vegetables.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Pasta and Vegetables, Simple Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author julietkitchen


  • 8 ounce medium pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt to add to pasta water
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 cups baby spinach (packed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (& extra for Garnish) roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated (Optional)


  1. In a six quart pot add the water and the tablespoon salt and bring to a boil

  2. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions (I like the pasta Al Dente)

    Set aside the pasta once done

    Note - reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water for later use

  3. While the pasta is cooking, cut the tomatoes in half

    Thinly slice the garlic and chop the cilantro roughly

  4. In a six quart dutch oven pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat

  5. Add the garlic to the hot oil and cook for about a minute just until it's fragrant (do not brown the garlic)

  6. Add the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt, about a minute and a half (use a wooden spoon to incorporate it with the garlic and cilantro as it is wilting)

  7. Add the tomatoes and cook for about a minute

  8. Add the salt and pepper 

  9. Add the pasta and mix to coat it with the vegetables. (I was light with the salt and pepper in this recipe - I recommend tasting and add a little more if you need it)

  10. Turn off the stove and add the parmesan cheese if using

  11. Optional: If the pasta appears dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water.  

    Garnish with cilantro and serve


Recipe Notes

In this recipe I use cilantro, however, you can use parsley.