This one-pot technique for cooking pasta requires no draining. Greek mountain tea, oregano and fennel in the cooking water build the foundation for the sauce, finished with feta cheese and Kalamata olives. Photo credit: Joanne Bruno from Eats Well with Others.
Break tea stems into smaller pieces. Place tea and bay leaves in the center of piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter. Tie tightly with long piece of string.
Place spaghetti, fennel, tomatoes, water, oregano, lemon peel, garlic powder, salt and cheesecloth bundle in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to boil on high heat. Cook 10 to 12 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid has mostly evaporated, stirring frequently.
Remove cheesecloth bundle. Add spinach, feta, olives and lemon juice to pasta; toss well.
Greek mountain tea is also known as ironwort, mountain tea and shepherd’s tea. It is a flowering plant that grows at higher elevations in Greece. Greeks use the whole plant – stems, leaves and flowers – to prepare the tea. It can be purchased in tea shops and online specialty stores. If unavailable, substitute 2 green tea bags.