Pasta Athena

The Aftermath, and Greek Pasta with Shrimp Tomato and Kalamata Olives.

Well friends, Halloween is over. Decorations are coming down. The litter is off the lawn. The grass is rebounding from a hoard of spiked heels tromping through. The recycling bins are overflowing. Excessive makeup and hairspray have washed away. The neighborhood is quiet. My head has stopped spinning.

Halloween in Kenilworth is famous for being unpredictable. You truly never know quite what to expect, or how many people to plan for. The neighbors spend a year’s worth of creative energy on one day’s display. It can manifest in magic shows, floats, light shows, haunted houses, pumpkin sculptures, doggy competitions…who knows. This year we had a well-known NC politician on our block passing out “Heath” bars!

Every year I try to keep count of the trick-or-treaters to prepare for the following year–it’s still a crap-shoot. This year was no different. I assumed since Halloween was on a school night, that we might have a few less than normal. WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The weather was gorgeous and everyone invited their sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s friend to come out! This was by far, our biggest Halloween in the five years we’ve been in the neighborhood. I purchased enough treats for over 1000 kids and we ran out at 7:45 pm! We went to back up candy and that was gone in moments! Friends took turns on the front porch to manage the masses. On my shift, I actually got a little nauseous watching the swarm of shadowy bodies whizzing toward me and away at high speeds!

In the house, our party was a bit more tempered than outside. There were children involved, after all, so not quite a frat party, people. Instead we hosted a collection of colorful friends in high spirits, making merry and gazing in awe at the chaos on the front lawn.

I hoped to take more pictures during the event, but in all the commotion, I lost track of my plan. Most of these pictures were taken before things picked up…

After all this, I need comfort food. For me, a good pasta dish is equivalent to taking a Valium. It soothes the mind and body. Strands of steamy carbs caressed with garlic-cream sauce. What could possibly be more appeasing? Well, maybe the addition of some seafood and olives…and the fact that it’s quick and easy!

Peace begins with a smile. ~Mother Teresa

To make Greek Pasta with Shrimp Tomato and Kalamata Olives:

In a large pot, boil salted water and cook the pasta as directed on the box. Meanwhile, heat a LARGE skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil and butter. Once melted, add the garlic and shrimp. *If you like a thick cream sauce, sprinkle the shrimp with 2 tsps. flour before adding them to the skillet.

Cook about one minute, then add the wine and cream. Toss and cook another minute, then add olives and tomatoes. Cook another minute or two.

Finally, mix in the strained pasta and spinach leaves. Remove from heat once the spinach wilts. Salt and Pepper to taste. (Season carefully, the olives and feta add a lot of salt!)

Divide onto plates and top with feta cheese. Serves 4-6.


Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Greek Pasta with Shrimp Tomato and Kalamata Olives


1 lb. favorite pasta (I usually use linguini)
1 Tb. olive oil
2 Tb. butter
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 lb. large peeled shrimp
¾ cup white wine
1/3 cup cream or half-n-half
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained
3-4 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and Pepper


In a large pot, boil salted water and cook the pasta as directed on the box. Meanwhile, heat a LARGE skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil and butter. Once melted, add the garlic and shrimp. *If you like a thick cream sauce, sprinkle the shrimp with 2 tsps. flour before adding them to the skillet.

Cook about one minute, then add the wine and cream. Toss and cook another minute, then add olives and tomatoes. Cook another minute or two.

Finally, mix in the strained pasta and spinach leaves. Remove from heat once the spinach wilts. Salt and Pepper to taste. (Season carefully, the olives and feta add a lot of salt!)

Divide onto plates and top with feta cheese.

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61 Responses to “Pasta Athena”

  1. #
    Alison — November 4, 2010 @ 1:27 am

    Kenilworth on Halloween is the best! That said, you have now forever ruined my love of Heath bars.


  2. #
    Anonymous — November 4, 2010 @ 1:34 am

    I've never liked heath bars but I can't wait to make this dish!


  3. #
    apiciusapprentice — November 4, 2010 @ 1:59 am

    I think it's probably wrong… but I actually laughed out loud at the soccer playing Hitler. And I love, love, loved the Benjamin Button baby. It sounds like Halloween was a hit!


  4. #
    Chow and Chatter — November 4, 2010 @ 2:20 am

    looks great and I agree pasta is like that for me as well


  5. #
    Emily Z — November 4, 2010 @ 2:24 am

    OMG that Benjamin Button costume is. a. MAZING. Seriously. Totally awesome. And you must have a LOT more kids in your neighborhood because we had a very slow night… and friends in other neighborhoods in the area have said the same thing, that they didn't get a lot of trick or treaters, either. And before I go, I will comment on the actual recipe, which looks awesome. I never cook with shrimp, but I should. I love me a good pasta dish myself!


  6. #
    Belinda @zomppa — November 4, 2010 @ 2:46 am

    Oh my gosh! I can't believe how many kids you get!! That's amazing. I wish I was a kid in your neighborhood. I LOVE the costume – he's toooooooo adorable! I have been eating shrimp all week for some reason so thanks for this idea.


  7. #
    My Kitchen in the Rockies — November 4, 2010 @ 2:53 am

    Wow, that sounds like quiet the Halloween event. Unbelievable. Nobody came to our house. We live to far out.
    No wonder you need some recovery food. Pasta always works well, especially with shrimp, I totally agree.
    Recover well!!


  8. #
    Prerna@IndianSimmer — November 4, 2010 @ 2:59 am

    I came here to respond to your comment on my blog and now Benjamin Button made me laugh SO hard I can't write :-)
    What a fun party! I wanna be thr.
    Well, thanks for your kind comments! If I knew you r from Asheville I would asked u for some recos. Next time will do. n BTW if u meet ur frnz from Chai Pani let them know that I loved thr place :-)


  9. #
    Green Girl @ A little bit of everything — November 4, 2010 @ 3:27 am

    Wow, so many trick or treaters in your area, in my community around 100 was the most I ever got. This year was so low, we hardly receive 50 :( still don't know why
    The pasta sounds so great, love your Villeroy & Boch serving dishes


  10. #
    Nirmala — November 4, 2010 @ 4:33 am

    Sommer, I love this dish. I make something similar but a little simpler. It has spinach but not the other vegetables. I'm going to try your soon. Good luck with your recovery.


  11. #
    Anna — November 4, 2010 @ 4:45 am

    LOL…Oh Dear! It was a massive amount of people. But it looks like was a lot of fun. Loved your costumes. And yes…. thank God somebody else thinks a good pasta is better than Valiun…Carbs are my Prozac lol
    My neighborhood was terribly boring, nothing happened here. They are all too fancy schmancy. I was all excited about take pictures of the kids with cute costumes but I got nothing….I was hanging with a bowl of chockies and nobody to give. LOL Ain't that sad?


  12. #
    She's Cookin' — November 4, 2010 @ 4:50 am

    Dang, looks like an all out Halloween extravaganza- Benjamin Button takes the cake! We had just returned from our trip, so did nothing but hand out candy – but at least we did that! Pasta for the weary soul :)


  13. #
    Magic of Spice — November 4, 2010 @ 5:02 am

    Sommer what a delightful post…and dish!
    I know what you mean about never being able to guess on the amount of trick or treaters.
    Love this comforting pasta dish :)


  14. #
    Cristina @ TeenieCakes — November 4, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    Mmm. This is food for the soul. Lovely dish and it looks like a very eventful and fun Halloween evening. That's what it's all about and in such good fun! :)


  15. #
    Koci — November 4, 2010 @ 5:38 am

    Woah! You got a lot more trick-or-treaters than I did. My neighborhood's full of old people, so I just ended up with three. You definitely deserve some yummy pasta as a reward for your efforts! Looks amazing!


  16. #
    Tiffany — November 4, 2010 @ 5:56 am

    THAT is exactly what I need….I just finished off the tootsie rolls…, really, Pasta Althena sounds wonderful!


  17. #
    Angie's Recipes — November 4, 2010 @ 6:34 am

    Gosh, you got so many kids at your door! LOL at Benjamin Button….so CUTE! I love your Halloween party! And the pasta looks delicious with feta.


  18. #
    Katerina — November 4, 2010 @ 8:37 am

    I can understand from the pictures that you enjoyed yourselves a lot this Halloween. That's what festivities are all about after all. I like this pasta first because it has the name of the Greek goddess Athena and second because it combines flavors that are very familiar and dear to me. Great pictures as well.


  19. # — November 4, 2010 @ 11:07 am

    Ben Button and Hitler. Awesome.


  20. #
    julie — November 4, 2010 @ 11:27 am

    I am mesmerized by the Benjamin Button costume! That is way too cute! It sounds like you had one crazy halloween! Your decorations are fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing the pics and the night!


  21. #
    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — November 4, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    Wow Sommer!! You guys really put the "Hallow" in Halloween :D Love the Benjamin Button and soccer playing Hitler costumes ROFLMAO

    The pasta dish is GORGEOUS and yes, that serving dish combo too! You know, I could swear I've seen that howling wolves pumpkin somewhere else in the blogosphere, not even 2 days ago!!! It's really beautiful….


  22. #
    Kristen — November 4, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

    We had 35 kids come by on Halloween. I cannot imagine over 1000 showing up. I'd have to go into seclusion just to recover. Your pasta would help.


  23. #
    M @ Betty Crapper — November 4, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    I'm jealous of your Halloween and wish I lived in a community that celebrates like yours.

    p.s. I vote for cream instead of half and half. If I'm going to indulge in yummy pasta I want the cream.


  24. #
    Heather — November 4, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    That looks GREAT.


  25. #
    sinfullyspicy — November 4, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    I cant stop laughing at the Benjamin Butler pic..its cute n funny at the same time.I really wish some day to closely be a part of all american festivals and learn the different traditions associated with the..dosent look possible in Vegas..sigh!
    Pasta looks really yum..and leftovers certainly make great dishes a lot of times


  26. #
    claire — November 4, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    Benjamin Button is such a cutie!

    Loved your costumes and I am so glad you all had such a bash!


  27. #
    Carolyn — November 4, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    Wow, you really do Halloween in style! But I bet it's nice to have the quiet back. Your pasta looks delicious!


  28. #
    dmarie — November 4, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    hmmnnn, just so happens, I have all those ingredients on hand! Thanks for the supper idea. Also, love the Halloween pics you captured, so thanks for sharing.


  29. #
    Susi — November 4, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    That Benjamin Button is too precious for words LOL Love your pasta recipe! Shrimp, feta and pasta, I'm sold and would love a plate of this :o)


  30. #
    Monet — November 4, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    I so enjoyed seeing all of these pictures! It seems like you had a wonderful night of ghoulish festivities. Thank you for sharing…and thank you for sharing your pasta recipe too! Talk about a bowl of deliciousness.


  31. #
    My Carolina Kitchen — November 4, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    Love your pasta dish with the feta cheese. It's a great way to recover from Halloween candy.

    Halloween was big in Florida this year too, which is where we happened to be. We went to my brother-in-laws and he had droves of kids. I was amazed at how many big kids still trick or treat.


  32. #
    Stella — November 4, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

    Wow, Sommer! I wish everyone in my hollow cared that much about Halloween-that must be the life. You live in such a cool place…
    Oh, and your pasta looks delicious. I would totally eat a bowl. Shrimp is my 'go to' food when I'm having cravings;)


  33. #
    Evan @swEEts — November 5, 2010 @ 1:07 am

    1000 kids!? we had 5! 3 of which were over 13!! Tat is absolutely crazy.. I wish we lived somewhere that took Halloween so seriously :) Your pasta looks delish by the way


  34. #
    Marisa — November 5, 2010 @ 2:46 am

    Wow! What what a crazy Halloween! But it still sounds like it was a of fun. I love that Benjamin Button costume–great idea! This pasta sounds like a perfect way to recover from all the madness.


  35. #
    Cake Duchess — November 5, 2010 @ 2:50 am

    What a fun Halloween. Love that adorable baby. Looks like it was a blast! I am also enjoying the photos of this pasta you made!YUM!


  36. #
    Karen — November 5, 2010 @ 5:32 am

    A creamy shrimp pasta dish will always make you feel good! This looks great.
    I can't believe how many trick-or-treaters you get! We had 7. And they all came in one group. And we don't live in the middle of nowhere. Our high-strung dog was better for it!


  37. #
    Cherine — November 5, 2010 @ 7:49 am

    This is an excellent Halloween party!! Benjamin Button is soooo cute!! And the pasta dish with feta is amazing!


  38. #
    Priya Sreeram — November 5, 2010 @ 11:09 am

    wow what a halloween extravaganza! am sure it was loads of fun! and the pasta looks inviting to say the least!droolworthy!!


  39. #
    Velva — November 5, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

    Just in time for the next round of holidays that will include the masses and heels tromping through your front yard.

    The pasta dish looks lovely. A nice break from Halloween candy and cookies.



  40. #
    Heavenly Housewife — November 5, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    Looks like you had quite a busy Halloween. I bet this pasta was the perfect thing to tuck into, and the fact that its a healthy diversion from all the candy is really good too. Looks absolutely delish!
    *kisses* HH


  41. #
    Rosa's Yummy Yums — November 5, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    Wonderful! I wish I could celebrate Halloween.

    That pasta dish looks mighty good!




  42. #
    blackbookkitchendiaries — November 5, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

    i love how lovely the pasta dish look…it's just perfect! thank you for sharing this.


  43. #
    laura — November 5, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    Halloween in your neighborhood sounds like the type of event that remains in children's memories for a lifetime – how fun! I love the flavors in your pasta and agree that nothing beats the ease and comfort of a fast and amazing pasta. I rarely cook seafood and really feel inspired by the ease at which you make seafood dishes. xo ( :


  44. #
    mr. pineapple man — November 5, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

    love the dishes!


  45. #
    mr. pineapple man — November 5, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    and the benjamin button baby is my favorite!


  46. #
    Katie@Cozydelicious — November 5, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

    Haha, pasta as valium… I love it! Looks yummy.


  47. #
    jennaseverythingblog — November 5, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

    Those are totally my favorite ingredients! Wine . . . cream . . . garlic . . . yes!
    Loved your Halloweed pictures, especially the little guy going as Benjamin Button. That was adorable!


  48. #
    Mary — November 6, 2010 @ 12:43 am

    What a colorful, beautiful dish! Love this!!

    New to your blog but lovin' it!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls


  49. #
    Eileen — November 6, 2010 @ 1:05 am

    Looks like a Halloween to remember! Pasta always soothes the soul – lol…


  50. #
    5 Star Foodie — November 6, 2010 @ 1:55 am

    Wow, quite a Halloween event! We had just the opposite – with a Monday off I thought we would have so many kids and we didn't even give out half of our candy :) The pasta is lovely, I like the shrimp in it!


  51. #
    Shirley — November 6, 2010 @ 3:40 am

    Your neighborhood looks like so much fun on Halloween! We barely get a fraction of your trick-or-treaters where I live. And yum… I love pasta with shrimp!


  52. #
    Deeba PAB — November 6, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    What a absolute blast you had…everythign was so festive & FUN!! WOW!! Love the comfort this pasta offers…yes, better then valium! LOL!! I love the ceramic ware too… clean, beautiful lines.


  53. #
    Kulsum@JourneyKitchen — November 7, 2010 @ 6:36 am

    What a lovely set you got there. And Benjamin Button totally cracked me up. LOL. So glad u had a good time.

    That pasta is busting with flavors, specially love the red tomatoes and black olives working in there. Incredible.


  54. #
    Gitte — November 7, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    LOL ohh look at Benjamin Button, that is too cute.
    Your pasta looks amazing, I'll have to bookmark this one.


  55. #
    ♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ — November 7, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    The pasta looks absolutely delish and yummy!!


  56. #
    A Little Yumminess — November 7, 2010 @ 10:48 pm

    Looks like you had a FUN halloween! Delicious and yummy looking pasta! Will have to try this one!


  57. #
    Pacheco Patty — November 8, 2010 @ 3:17 am

    Wow- that was us last year, a gazillion kids, ran out of candy etc. This year we didn't get as many, maybe because it was on a Sunday night? Anyway, we were left with two giant bags of Costco Halloween candy plus a ton still in the bowl. I want to throw it out but feel guilty so it's just sitting in the entry of the house. Your pasta looks amazing, great idea, so comforting:)


  58. #
    sweetlife — November 9, 2010 @ 3:33 am

    HOw fun Sommer…so many kids..oh goodness!!! The decorations look great and I love the costumes..perfect pasta to help you regain your strength..yum



  59. #
    BakingWithoutaBox — November 10, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

    I've been lurking. I admit. Reading your posts on my "smart" phone where I can't seem to post. Totally my bad. I loved the Halloween photos! Especially Benjamin Button. And that pasta is lovely.


  60. #
    Samantha @ The Savvy Soybean — November 11, 2010 @ 4:38 am

    That pasta looks so fresh and yummy! I can't believe there's cream involved because it looks so light…
    Oh and that benjamin button costume made me crack up for a good minute. SO CUTE!!


  61. #
    Bethany — December 17, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

    I made the pasta last night and it was delicious!


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