I love spanikopita, but for a weeknight meal, it's a little involved. I took all of the flavors and ingredients and tossed them with some orzo (because I had it on hand, but any pasta will do). I thought this was a great pasta salad. My mom has always added cottage cheese to her spanikopita filling, so I never realized it wasn't a traditional ingredient. I wasn't sure it would work in this dish, but it made it creamy without being too heavy. It can be left out, and more feta added, but I think it adds an interesting flavor and texture to the dish.
This can be served immediatly at a warm temperature, or it can be chilled, or anywhere in between. We had ours immediately, warm, JJ's with a chicken breast and mine with a morningstar farm's chik'n patty (the new italian herb seasoned patties are delicious!)
Spanikopita Pasta Salad
1/2 lb. short cut pasta
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 tsp. fresh minced oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt heavily and add pasta. Cook according to package directions to al dente, drain and add to a mixing bowl.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add EVOO, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.
Saute' for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are soft and slightly caramelized.
Add spinach, toss and wilt.
Add mixture to the orzo. , stir to combine.
Add herbs, crushed red pepper, cottage cheese and feta cheese, toss and serve or chill and serve later.