Recipe – Penne and Spinach Pasta Toss

Fun fact that you may or may not have guessed about this blog: I have more content than I can write about close to the time when it actually happens.  Things tend to happen in clusters, or I know I’ll need time to write something up so it gets pushed back a few days from actual occurrence.  Sometimes things that aren’t timely get tossed around on the calendar because other more timely things need a day, and sometimes – like today – I completely forget about a thing.

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Today’s forgotten thing is a recipe that is tragic in it’s forgotten-ness because it was so tasty, and came together so quickly.  After a long afternoon playing Mice and Mystics with the Boy and his girls, it was closing in on dinner time and I realized I had nothing planned.  After looking at my cupboards, I took stock of what I had: pasta, cheese, spinach.  So I did some quick googling, and found a recipe that incorporated all those things PLUS prompted me to dig in the back of my cupboard to find a container of sun-dried tomatoes.  I did not have enough of the mozzarella, so subbed in parmesan, and since I neither like nor have regular tomatoes…I left those out.

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But miracle of miracles – it didn’t matter.  The dish was delicious and gobbled up quickly.  Everyone went back for seconds.  And little miss E (who has a tendency to pick out vegetables when they block her direct access to pasta and cheese) ate all the spinach in her dish as well.  So that’s an excellent sign.

Penne & Spinach Pasta Toss

Yield: 4 generous servings

Ingredients

8 oz. penne or ziti pasta, uncooked
1 pkgs (9 oz.) baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. minced sun dried tomatoes
2 tsp. dried basil
1 large tomato, diced (optional – as decided by me)
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided (I didn’t have enough mozzarella so did half and half with parmesan)

Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water adding spinach to pasta during last minute of cooking, stirring until wilted.

Meanwhile, mix cheese, sun dried tomatoes and basil; set aside. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer; cook 4 minutes.

Drain pasta and spinach; add to skillet, tossing well. Simmer 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Stir in tomato; heat through. Season with salt to taste.

Transfer mixture to four shallow pasta bowls; top each serving with 1/4 cup of cheese. Immediately toss pasta with two spoons until cheese melts. Top each serving with remaining cheese. Serve with freshly ground black pepper (optional).

From: Sargento, with modifications (noted in recipe)

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