Pasta with Spinach, Prosciutto and Chevre, do it with enthusiasm

Have you been watching the Olympics?

We’ve watched a few bits here and there. Yesterday we watched the figure skating. Some of them or so young (15), how exciting and terrifying and exhilarating it must be just to compete.

I ran across an old post the other day….. And in light of all the enthusiastic young athletes, I thought a re-print was timely.

I have to admit, reading my own story snapped me out of my doldrums.

I’d forgotten; I’d do well to remember.

As to the food – the sauce cooks in less time than the pasta, so if you are using fresh pasta this can go together very quickly.

The hot pasta and sauce ‘cook’ the spinach lightly, so that is just barely wilted. I had both kinds of olives in the fridge, but you can use whatever is handy.

Pasta with Spinach, Prosciutto and Chevre

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 Greek or black olives, pitted  and/or
  • 10 green olives, pitted
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240gr) white beans (cannellini)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4oz (120gr) fresh spinach 
  • (4oz, 120gr) Prosciutto, Serrano, Bayonne (mine) or other dry-cured ham
  • 2/3 box (3oz, 90gr) chevre (goat cheese) (the little cartons of creamy goat cheese, 5oz (150gr) Chavrie – U.S. Chevraux – Europe
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese  (Gruyère, Swiss, whatever)
  • 1 1/4 cup dry, bite-size pasta

Pasta with Spinach, Prosciutto and Chevre


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Thickly slice onions.
  • Mince garlic.
  • Slice ham into large strips.
  • Cut olives in half.
  • Drain and rinse the beans.
  • Sort through the spinach, discarding any damaged leaves, cutting the large leaves in half.
  • Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ham. Sauté for 10 minutes longer, until ham is slightly crispy.
  • Add olives, beans, goat cheese and heat through.
  • When pasta is done, drain but don’t shake every last bit of water off.
  • Put the spinach on top of the sauce in the skillet, add the hot pasta on top and stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle with cheese, stir again and serve.

Print Recipe

I wrote this when Sedi, our German Shepherd, was still with us, but after she’d had her stroke.

Sedi no longer joins us for our walks.

She gets just as wildly excited as she used to, but falls down if she’s not careful.

She still spins in circles trying to get out the door, but sometimes she hits her head on the door frame as she dashes out.

She races to the gate, like always, but now she just stands there and watches as we go up the hill.  Then she sits, waiting for us to come back. She repeats the whole nonsense as we go back into the house.

She reminds me of some older gentlemen that lived in one of the Assisted Living facilities I worked for.

They were four good friends. One bright summer day, they decided that they were going to play golf.

They spent a week discussing the various golf courses available to them, arguing at length the pros and cons of each.

They worried over the choice of day: Would it be too crowded? Would there be leagues?

They finally selected a course, settled on a day and made their tee time.

They spent the 4 days leading up to it carefully going over the clubs (there was only one full set among them so they had to share), inspecting and polishing.  They got out proper golf clothes and made certain they had good shoes.

They debated what type of side games they should play: should they divide into 2 teams; play a Scramble; Bingo, Bango, Bongo; should they bet real money or just play for the fun of it.

Should they play summer rules (like they always used to, of course) or winter rules (they hadn’t played in awhile, could speed things up).

Did anyone happen to have a rule book they could borrow in case of questions?

It was the sole topic of conversation for them and anyone who ventured too close for days.

Finally the big day came.

They were up and dressed early.  Each had a substantial breakfast – they would need their strength after all.

They left, four dapper gentlemen, shiny, clean (but old) clubs in hand, shortly before 9 that morning. One of them still had a car (and a license) and drove to the course.

Shortly after 10, they returned, laughing and joking.  They retired to one of their rooms, broke out the brandy and cigars, sat on the terrace and relived their game, shot by shot. They went over every stroke, every ball hit, and every ball missed.  By early afternoon they were exhausted and all had a well-deserved nap.

It was the highlight of their summer.

They had played one hole.

Not the usual 18… Or even 9.

Just one.

It’s not about how much you do….

It’s about how you do it.

Put your whole self in it and do it with enthusiasm.

Sedi knew.

I need to remember.

5 thoughts on “Pasta with Spinach, Prosciutto and Chevre, do it with enthusiasm”

  1. A good reminder for us all. Thanks for reposting. Dogs have that capacity to put their all into whatever they are doing – guarding the house, chasing the ball, romping with friends, eating dinner, sniffing on a walk – they are 100% engaged.

  2. Okay, I’m better. I did want to say that though figure skating looks wonderful, my daughter was an individual skater for 10 years. It’s a horribly expensive sport to the tune of 25K or more a year with the coach fees, ice fees, ballet, pilates, yoga, home schooling, club dues, competition fees and on and on and on. And it’s so, so very subjective. When she figured that out, she lost interest in the whole thing. And she figured it out because she suddenly grew. She wasn’t the petite, 4’11” skater anymore and the judges didn’t like it. And didn’t hesitate to tell her she was too tall so they marked her down for it.

    It’s a pretty sport, but one of the most humiliating for girls to participate in.

  3. Kate, I hope I’m as good at their age LOL

    Zoomie, they do – they can teach us a lot. In summer I like to go out and sit on the lawn with them and try to be in the moment 😉 They’re my excuse….

    Nightsmusic, it was a sweet moment…. They were a hoot! I had a friend in MN who’s daughter was a skater so I’m a little familiar with how tough it is. She finally quit skating and started designing costumes for the other skaters -probably a better career choice

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