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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe with you lovelies, so I thought I'd turn my case of Mondayitis in to an opportunity to do just that.

A big weekend and a 5 day work week ahead of me, means two things: I’m tired and I’m hungry.

Quick skillet pasta dishes like this Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta are perfect for such an occasion. They require only a few ingredients, cook up super fast, and leave me feeling so full! I make this whenever I need a quick, comforting meal. I literally devour this weekly over winter.

My version uses just a touch of cream cheese and Parmesan to make a regular tomato sauce rich and creamy. If you’re not into cream cheese, you could also add 1/4 cup or so of half and half to achieve a similar effect. I use regular pasta, but whole wheat would actually be pretty good in this and would add some extra fibre and nutrients to make it a more well rounded meal.

Add Pasta

Ingredients
Serves: 4
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz.) can peeled, diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ lb. penne pasta
  • ½ (9 oz.) bag spinach - fresh or frozen

Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  2. While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water, and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
  4. Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add to the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
  5. Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.
Wilted Spinach


Try it out and let me know what you think!

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