Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

This is the second time that I've made this dish. It's another one of those quick, "I need supper now" type of meals. It's also a fairly light dish that's good for those days when you just don't feel like a heavy meal.

I stayed pretty true to the recipe with this one with the exception of increasing the spices to bump up the flavor a little. I doubled the garlic, using 2 cloves instead of just 1 and also added more red pepper flakes to taste after I mixed the pasta in with the veggies. For our tastes, I probably could have upped the garlic to 3 cloves.

I do wish I would have added a little bit more spinach. Cooking spinach for me is one of those things like trying to estimate how many spaghetti noodles to cook. I'm not very good at it. The pan always looks so full at the beginning, but after it wilts there never is as much as I though there was.

Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

1 cup vegetable broth
12 dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked penne pasta (I always use whole-wheat pasta)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth 15 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving broth, and coarsely chop.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook 9 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted.
Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the garlic 1 minute, until tender. Mix in the spinach, and cook until almost wilted. Pour in the reserved broth, and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking 2 minutes, or until heated through.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach and tomato mixture and pine nuts. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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