OK….everyone, at sometime or another has been there!  You go, go, go, give and do for others and then start all over again.  The thing is, when this happens, I really don’t begrudge it, running at a high speed is my nature BUT, I’ve learned the hard way that I’ve got to stop and schedule time “with” myself.

penne pasta summer salad

So, this morning after getting everyone off, I asked myself to lunch!  I’ve had a great time, following up on things that needed attention, making appointments for some home projects & the boys, and of course, making a few lists.  I’ve shared before that I’m a list maker and I love it – especially checking things off!
After getting so much done, it was time to get ready for my lunch date.  I’m treating myself to penne pasta with a few of my favorite things – spinach, tomatoes, olives and cheese.  Time to “be my own chef,” ahhh.
penne pasta summer salad

Penne Pasta with Favorites

Treat yourself to penne pasta with a few of my favorite things – spinach, tomatoes, olives and cheese.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Donya | asouthernsoul.com


  • 3/4 cup whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes - halved
  • 1/3 cup olives - halved
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced Vidalia onion
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese


  • Cook pasta in salty water according to package directions, about 11 minutes or al dente.
  • While pasta is cooking, slice tomatoes, olives and onion, set aside.
  • Wash spinach and trim any stems.
  • When pasta is almost finished cooking, add spinach to the pot. Cook for 1 minute. This will wilt the spinach just enough to be tender.
  • Drain pasta and spinach.
  • Add tomatoes, olives and onion. Toss gently.
  • Drizzle on olive oil, about 2 Tablespoons.
  • Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon.
  • Season with salt and lots of fresh cracked pepper.
  • Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

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