Eat Like the Pros

We tend to eat a lot lighter when the warmer weather is here, and this recipe for pasta with lemon and garlic is a perfect, light summer dish.   You can use it as a side dish or add your favorite protein and make it more of a meal.  You can make it vegetarian or non-vegetarian.  It is your choice, as are most of the recipes I cook.  Either way, however you make it, it is a delicious light meal for the warmer weather.   I started with the recipe from Matt & Susie Light, and then of course, I mixed and matched and added to it to make it my own.  It is one of the recipes in my new cookbook, Cooking with the Pros, by David Ortiz and some of his fellow New England athletes.  This is a really good book with quick, simple, delicious meals that are some of the favorite dishes from the athletes who contributed to make this book.  So with this book and these recipes, you can eat what the pros eat, and help others in need at the same time.  All the athletes who contributed to this book believe in helping others and do a lot of charity work.  The proceeds from the book go to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which helps kids from the Dominican Republic who are in need of heart surgeries and also provides support for the families of children in New England who live with congestive heart disorders.  

David Ortiz, also known as Big Papi, played for the Boston Red Sox  from 2003-2016.


Matt Light played for the New England Patriots from 2001-2011.  This is the vegetarian/vegan version of the pasta that I would use as a side dish.  If you are making it vegan, substitute a vegan cheese for the Parmigiano cheese.


The ingredients.


Lemon pasta with lemon-herb grilled chicken to make it more of a meal.  I also served it with an herbed pop-over and a light, crisp and refreshing Pinot Blanc.  This is a wine we bottled, from our favorite winery here in the South Denver Metro area of Colorado, InVINtions, a Creative Winery.   The label is one of our dogs, Vinnie, enjoying “his” glass of wine after a long hard day of play.


Jeanne’s Pasta with Lemon and Garlic

1 box of cooked pasta.  I used orzo, but you can use whatever you like.

3 cups spinach, chopped (you can also use kale, Swiss Chard or other greens of your choice)

2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

red pepper flakes to taste

salt & pepper to taste

baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

tomatoes, chopped

lemon verbena, chiffonade (Optional.  This time of the year, it grows wild in my backyard, so I use it in as many dishes as I can.  It has a real lemony flavor and adds a little more zip and zing to your dishes.)

Parmigiano cheese (optional.  You can both cook it in with the spinach and/or top the dish with it.)


Cook your pasta choice according to the directions.  Saute the spinach (or greens of your choice), mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes together until cooked.  If you are adding Parmagiano cheese to your dish, add it after the vegetables are cooked, along with the toasted pine nuts and tomatoes.  Add the lemon juice and your pasta and mix everything together.  If you are using this dish as a main meal, add your meat or protein choice on top of the pasta and vegetables and top with more Parmagiano cheese if desired.


***InVINtions, A Creative Winery is located  at 9608 East Arapohoe Road, Greenwood Village, CO 80112.  You can find them at










Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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