This pasta with steak and spinach is a long-time favorite recipe at our house. Tender New York strip steak tossed with spinach, pasta and a tangy Dijon mustard and balsamic dressing.
I have a love/ hate thing with Food Network; on one hand, I credit the 24-hour food and cooking channel with my early cooking education – thanks to the Food Network I learned how to peel and chop garlic, dice an onion, and make the most amazing flourless chocolate cake. On the other hand, I hate it because it’s gotten so annoying over the years (sort of like what happened to MTV) and there are very few shows I can even tolerate now – Barefoot Contessa (genius) and The Pioneer Woman (gotta support the bloggers) are the only two. I DVR them so I don’t even have to turn to the channel.
All of this Food Network dust got stirred up after I found an old binder neatly filled with single page protected printed recipes and, as I flipped through it looking for gems, I realized every single recipe was from the Food Network. Every single recipe! In my hands was the evidence of my old cooking show obsession back when Food Network was the only channel I watched – back then I had no idea what was going in the world, but I could tell you, in stalker-like detail, what Ina made for Jeffery that day, where they ate it, and what I learned from watching it. I was such an earnest student.
One recipe in the binder, Giada’s pasta with beef and arugula, caught my eye and instantly transported me back to the days before the blog when I was building out my go-to recipe repertoire. The recipe is simple – sort of like Giada’s show back when she was just a girl making approachable Italian food – and one that I turned to again and again. I even remember the episode – in it, she wrapped up the beef and pasta in cute take-out boxes and surprised her husband at work with lunch. They ate it in his office with chopsticks. Why I remember things like this I have no clue, but I made it for dinner that night for Steve and I (with some minor adjustments) and it was just as I remembered – simple and flavorful. All you do is cook up some pasta and steak and toss both in a balsamic, mustard, and herb dressing. It can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. As we ate I sort of kicked myself under the table for keeping the recipe in exile all these years.
Strangely enough, since the binder discovery and my happy reunion with the Giada recipe, I’ve started tuning into Food Network when I’m at the gym. There is something deliciously sick about watching Anne Burrell make New England clam chowder with no less than 3 cups of whole milk and heavy cream combined while I burn calories walking my heart out on the treadmill. At the gym I really don’t care who’s on – I watch it all: Rachel, Sandra Lee, Guy Fieri, Giada – it’s a Food Network safe zone and a cherished 40-minutes in my day where I can just zone out and be okay with Sandra Lee’s crazy tablescapes, Rachel’s for-profit garbage bowl, and Giada’s disturbingly big smile.
Food Network ain’t what it used to be, but I think I’ve made my peace with it.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
Tender New York strip steak tossed with spinach, pasta and a tangy dijon mustard and balsamic dressing.
- .5 pound New York strip steak
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces of penne pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a small bowl combine the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Season the steak on all sides with the mixture and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Cook the steak for 5-7 minutes on each side (depends on how pink you like it – 7 minutes will be barely pink). Remove the steak from the pan and leave it on a plate to rest before slicing.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve a couple tablespoons of the starchy water before draining the pasta.
- While the pasta cooking, whisk together the remaining olive oil, balsamic, and mustard in a small bowl.
- Once the pasta is finished cooking toss it with the dressing, reserved pasta water, sliced steak, parsley, and spinach until the spinach starts to wilt a bit. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons of feta cheese.
- Serve the pasta warm, at room temperature, or store it in the fridge to enjoy cold.
Adapted from Food Network
- Calories: 538
- Sugar: 5.4g
- Sodium: 969.1mg
- Fat: 25.3g
- Saturated Fat: 10.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10.8g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 42.7g
- Fiber: 7.7g
- Protein: 33.3g
- Cholesterol: 107.9mg