Spaghetti with tomatoes, lemon, feta and arugula

Spaghetti with tomatoes, lemon, feta and arugula on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe focus for this year’s Food Revolution Day was about sharing the power of cooking, the benefits of cooking from scratch and, ultimately showing people that changing our food choices can make us both healthier and happier.  Instead of one official recipe as there has been in years past, this year, we have a set of 10 recipes chosen by Jamie Oliver that he deems the “Starter Pack of Cooking”.  Each recipe covers a different skill and technique that can give anyone the confidence to cook good, real, healthy meals for themselves and their families, for now and the future.  Jamie has spoken about the idea of ten recipes to save your life since his TED talk in 2010.  Each month from now until December, I’ll be sharing my own twist on Jamie’s recipes which will be showcased along with nine other Ambassador’s ideas over on JamieOliver.Com. You can see previous posts here.

For this month’s Food Revolution Recipe Twist, we were tasked with tweaking Jamie’s Classic Tomato Spaghetti. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew how I would put my spin on it. Tomato sauce and pasta is a staple in our house (as it is in many, I’m sure) and one of our favourite recipes was collected on our travels.  Back in 2005, we took a glorious trip through Tuscany and Umbria.  Neil and I rented a beautiful villa with friends  in a 14th century hamlet near San Terenziano.  One of our most memorable meals was at Pane e vino, a tiny restaurant tucked off the tourist trail in a little alley in Todi,. I chose a simple pasta dish, infused with lemon and garlic, which was so delicious and, I thought, simple to make at home. We failed miserably each time we tried to recreate it until I wrote to Gourmet magazine to see if they could obtain the recipe for me (they used to have a feature where you could write in to ask for recipes from restaurants which they would sometimes publish). A few months later, it arrived – very literally translated from Italian and I’ve been making variations of it ever since.  It was one of the first recipes I posted on my blog back in 2009 but I have since updated the recipe  and even made a video of it for a blog contest I was a part of. Today’s version is the one we most often make and it’s a beautiful twist on a simple tomato sauce.

Yield: 6

Spaghetti with tomatoes, lemon, feta and arugula

Spaghetti with tomatoes, lemon, feta and arugula

A lovely bright pasta sauce featuring fresh tomatoes, lemon, feta and arugula.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 50g (a heaping 1/4 cup) pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 medium-sized fresh tomatoes (approx 2lb/ 900g), roughly chopped
  • OR
  • 1 x 796ml can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • zest of 2 lemons (1 packed tablespoon)
  • juice of 2 lemons (80mls/ 1/3 cup)
  • 3 generous handfuls of arugula (rocket)
  • 300g spaghetti
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled (a heaping cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they start to turn golden in colour. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. In a heavy skillet, over medium heat, sauté the garlic until it’s just fragrant and starting to soften (a couple of minutes).
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (or can of tomatoes and their juices) and cook until the tomatoes are soft (fresh tomatoes) or until approximately 1/2 the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the lemon zest and juice and reduce heat to low.
  5. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a saucy consistency.
  6. Add the arugula and stir to just combine.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente (approximately 10 minutes or according to directions on package).
  8. Drain well and add to the tomato mixture. Combine pasta and sauce gently using tongs to completely mix in the sauce.
  9. Just before serving, add the crumbled feta, pine nuts and chopped basil.

did you make this recipe?

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What about you – what’s your favourite pasta sauce?

Check out the other Food Revolution Ambassadors’ twists on Jamie’s tomato spaghetti here.

12 thoughts on “Spaghetti with tomatoes, lemon, feta and arugula”

  1. Nothing beats a great pasta dish. This is perfect for summer instead of heavy sauces. I can see this happening for a nice weekend dinner…and a glass of wine!!

  2. This looks great! Having a few staple recipes is definitely the way to build confidence in the kitchen. I don’t think I ever would have paired lemon with tomato, thinking both would be way too acidic together, but now I am curious. 🙂

  3. Love it. It’s one of those flavour combinations that makes you think “huh, really?” but makes more and more sense the longer you think about it. I have to say that I particularly like the pine nuts. Nice work!

  4. There are so many restaurant dishes I’ve eaten that I would kill for a version of the recipe to make at home – that’s amazing that Gourmet was able to get it for you! I love feta in my pasta (actually I love it in pretty much anything), so this recipe looks right up my alley.


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