I like my pasta al dente! And smothered in greens, veggies, olive oil and sea salt. So suffice it to say this Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Baby Arugula is top notch in my book.
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Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Baby Arugula in a black bowl with gold serving spoons



Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Baby Arugula:

This 20 minute meal is a cinch to make. While pasta boils you sauté sweet shallots and garlic,  then toss in tender baby arugula (or spinach if preferred), pasta, cherry tomatoes, and fresh dill! Plate and sprinkle with Marcona almonds, feta cheese, sea salt and red pepper flakes. 


Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Baby Arugula garnished with Marcona almonds and feta cheese in a black bowl


The Subtleties: 

Caramelized shallots are one of my favorite things on earth, and I especially love their sweetness in pastas. Marcona almonds are blanched almonds lightly coated with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary. They add a nice touch to this already delicious pasta dish. Fresh dill also provides a bit of unexpected flavor. I love all those subtle hints of herby goodness drenched in quality olive oil and sea salt. Yum!


Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Baby Arugula in black bowl with red and white dish towel in background


Need More Fresh Vegetarian Pasta Recipes?

Try my Spring Roll Spaghetti or my  Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Burrata!

Two pasta dishes garnished with greens

The Recipe: Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Baby Arugula

Tips and what you need: for best results cook pasta to package instructions. You will need a stock pot, and a colander. 

Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Baby Arugula
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Al dente Penne pasta tossed with fresh arugula and tomatoes, feta cheese, and Marcona almonds: easy, simple clean eating!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy dinner recipe, easy pasta recipe, Vegetarian pasta
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
  • 10 ounces penne pasta
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 5 ounces baby arugula (3-4 large handfuls) you can sub with baby spinach if arugula isn't your thing
  • 1 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Marcona almonds
  • 4 ounces feta (about 1/2 cup)
  • sea salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste
Cook the pasta:
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender but al dente (usually instructions on package are right on) Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water.

While water heats and the penne cooks, prepare the vegetables.
  1. Peel and thinly slice the shallots

  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half
  3. Coarsely chop the dill and almonds

  4. Peel and mince garlic

While Pasta cooks, start shallots and finish the pasta:
  1. In a large pan (large enough to accommodate all pasta and veggies) over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots. Season with salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally until shallots are slightly caramelized (6 minutes) Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium. Drain pasta reserving 3/4 cup pasta water. Add the penne, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and reserved pasta water to pan. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, dill, arugula and sherry vinegar. Cook until the arugula is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

  1. Transfer the penne to individual bowls. Garnish with the almonds and feta, toss and serve.