Gemelli Pasta with Garden Greens and Pine Nuts

Whoa, Nelli Gemelli! (I know it’s really Nelly, but just go with me here.)

Do you ever plan a meal based on a color you have in your head? Like a certain color palate? Or a little mental paint swatch? You’re shaking your head. Okay.

A couple of weeks ago Jamie Oliver posted this shot on the Instagram of some pasta that might have been gemelli? . . . I think? . . . and it was being tossed and glossed with oil in this enormous parmesan wheel from probably 1855, and was gorgeously speckled with red pepper flakes and there were so many shades of buttery rustic-ness and earthy tones and I’m POSITIVELY SURE he noticed my “like” and “omg, dude.”

Well, as luck would have it, my 2-foot parmesan wheel from Italy is currently on loan with the mayor of HA HA HA YOU WISH, so I had to wing it. Bummer for me.

Y’alls, that image got so stuck in my head like Elmer’s glue to every single kid ever, I just had to make it. Or whatever I thought it was. Because you can’t zoom in on Instagram. Which is kind of lame but whatever. SPEAKING OF, have you noticed how we now have our own little Instagram profiles on the interflex?! And is it embarrassing that I pull mine up and look at it more than I care to admit but just did in a way because I love the rotating pictures at the top? It’s like a little ’80s movie montage of your life!

It’s all I’ve ever wanted really.


I don’t think Jamie had any greens in his pasta, but the Great Freeze Boogie Man of 2012 was about to come get my garden, so I did some rescuing with my scissors and mouth.

And then I toasted a lot of pine nuts in butter. Yes.

And then a lot of garlic and crushed red pepper in the same butter. Oh mmmm.

And then all those pungent greens in that same butter. Can’t feel my face.


And then the cooked gemelli pasta went into the butter. And 37 F150 truck loads of parmesan went in.

And things were tossed. And they were tossed some more.

Songs were sung. Booties shaken. Roofs raised.

If you need to sit down, it’s okay.

If you need to lie down, do it now.

If you need to locate the nearest cement pouring chute for your mouth, you’re on your own, sailor.

Gemelli Pasta with Garden Greens and Pine Nuts:

What it took for 2 (rather large portions, so what):

* 2 cups gemelli pasta
* 2 Tbs. butter
* 2 Tbs. pine nuts
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tbs. crushed red pepper (or a little less if you don’t prefer so much heat)
* 4 cups chopped mixed greens (I used kale, swiss chard and bok choy)
* 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or less if I’m totally freaking you out)
* 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water and drain the rest.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the pine nuts and toast until slightly brown, about 3 minutes. KEEP YOUR EYES on them. They’re expensive little boogers and you don’t want to burn them while watching some rando win a Hawaiian trip on Wheel of Fortune. Remove the nuts from the skillet and set aside.

Back in the skillet, add the garlic and crushed red pepper; sauté 1 minute.

Add the garden greens to the skillet and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and take it off the heat. Add the parmesan and as much pasta water as needed to make a thin sauce. Then add that olive oil and the reserved pine nuts. Toss, toss, toss. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Taste it. Thy heart RIIIIIIISETH.

Serve and sing.



, , , , , ,

26 Responses to Gemelli Pasta with Garden Greens and Pine Nuts

  1. Maria November 14, 2012 at 8:48 am #
    You are inviting me for dinner, right?
  2. claire @ the realistic nutritionist November 14, 2012 at 8:48 am #
    SO MANY LEAVES!! I love it. I want to dance in a field with this pasta.
  3. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 14, 2012 at 8:57 am #
    This is so pretty! I love this idea!
  4. Heather @ Heather's Dish November 14, 2012 at 9:17 am #
    gemelli is my FAVORITE PASTA EVAH! seriously, the shape kills me. i feel like Rapunzel when i eat it. weird, i know, but it makes sense in my head!
  5. Marina {} November 14, 2012 at 9:31 am #
    Holy gorgeousness! I am a dark greens addict and am in love with this pasta.
  6. Heather November 14, 2012 at 10:00 am #
    I want this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  7. Living The Sweet Life November 14, 2012 at 10:28 am #
    I totally understand the colour pallet idea - - I love it when food looks as good as it tastes. And the brighter - the better!! With that said, this is one gooooorgeous pasta dish. Mmm... simple, delicious, and easy to make - - sounds like a win to me :D
  8. Ashley - Baker by Nature November 14, 2012 at 10:33 am #
    Oh my gawwwwshhhhhh. Bev - seriously?! Pasta perfection!
  9. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 14, 2012 at 10:36 am #
    How did you know that gemelli is my absolute favorite?!
  10. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. November 14, 2012 at 10:39 am #
    yes please!! GORGEOUS
  11. Kare @ Kitchen Treaty November 14, 2012 at 10:40 am #
    Yum. So simple, and it looks divine. I would like some right this instant.
  12. Chelsea November 14, 2012 at 11:35 am #
    This looks soooo good right now. I'm starving from skipping breakfast. Gemelli is my very favorite noodle shape and my husband dies of embarrassment every time I'm able to locate it....there are shrieks involved.
  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks November 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm #
    It's beautiful, Bev! Those spiral shaped pasta means they taste even better than straight pasta - I swear the curly ones taste better :)
  14. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain November 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm #
    Um, where have I been? I've never had Gemelli pasta and must action immediately!
  15. Cassie | Bake Your Day November 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm #
    I want this for my afternoon snack. I can eat my weight in pine nuts.
  16. Cookbook Queen November 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm #
    If lovin' Gemelli is wrong...I don't wanna be right.
  17. Brian @ A Thought For Food November 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm #
    Come to papa! ;-)
  18. Cookie and Kate November 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm #
    Pasta, pine nuts, butter? And greens? SOLD.
  19. Kathryn November 15, 2012 at 4:35 am #
    Seriously. I want this in my face. Now.
  20. Laurie {Simply Scratch} November 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm #
    This is absolutely gorgeous!!
  21. Katie @ Blonde Ambition November 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm #
    I lurrrrve all your pasta dishes that only require a simple pasta water + garlic + cheese sauce. This is makin' my mouth water!
  22. Tracey @ Cooking with Love November 17, 2012 at 7:22 am #
    The overhead shot of the ingredients is soooo beautiful Bev. You just get better and better!! I love me me some pasta with greens too! :)
  23. Marylou December 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm #
    I really thought the 1 tbsp of hot pepper flakes would be too much...but it was wonderful. Curled up on the couch, fire burning and Hawaii 5-0. Great night!
  24. katie February 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm #
    i made this tonight! Delicious! I added a little more garlic and pine nuts. I added chopped onion and chicken sausage. Should have added more greens. LOVED IT! Thank you!


  1. Beef Bolognese with Bucatini Pasta | Mamas with Style - November 14, 2012 [...] Gemelli Pasta with Garden Greens and Pine Nuts [...]
  2. 32 Scrumptious Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes | Kitchen Treaty - November 19, 2012 [...] Gemelli Pasta with Garden Greens & Pine Nuts from Bev Cooks [...]

Leave a Reply