Saturday, October 2, 2010

Penne Pasta, Spinach, Tomato and Basil

photo by sara tady ©
We've been using Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks for produce for about a year.  We love it, but sometimes it's hard to use all the great fruits and vegetables before they go bad.  I created this tasty pasta dish in an attempt to not let any fresh veggies go to waste.  It's sort of a cross between creamed spinach with pasta thrown in the mix.  It was incredibly hearty, but not too heavy and very basic.  This is the perfect method to throw in any other veggies you have on hand.  I think mushrooms would be great in here- too bad my huz doesn't like them!!  I think you'll be pretty impressed with yourself when you pull off this dish!  

Hope you enjoy :)

2-3 cups fresh spinach
1/2 box of Penne Pasta 
1-2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup Half and Half (you could use milk if you prefer...)
1 tbsp of flour
1 tbsp of butter
Chopped cherry tomatoes- 2 handfuls or so (or whatever other tomatoes you have on hand)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

step 1:fill a pot with water for the pasta.  Bring to boil.  Add a liberal amt of salt to the boiling water, drop in pasta.  Set a timer for the pasta cook time.  Over cooked pasta is the pits!
step 2: finely chop garlic
step 3: in a large non stick skillet, drizzle olive oil into pan (roughly 2 tbsps or so), LOW-MED heat
step 4: drop chopped garlic in to pan, make sure the oil isn't too hot.  We are looking for a small "sizzle factor" here. Saute 2 minutes or so.
step 5: drop in spinach and tomatoes.  Cook until spinach is wilted.  4-5 minutes or so.
step 6: drop in butter, then sprinkle flour on top of spinach, stir together, cook for 2 minutes or so. It's important the flour cooks here. It should look a bit like a paste at this point.
step 7: add the half and half- stir, stir, stir!  Get all clumps out. Let sauce come together and thicken- 2 minutes.  Here's where you'll need to adjust thickness on your own.  If it seems too thick, add some more half and half.  If it seems really runny, add a little sprinkle of flour.  The key is you want the flour to actually have the opportunity to cook.
step 8: salt and pepper your sauce
step 9: drop your drained pasta noodles into the pan and mix together.  Serve!

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  1. Sara, where is the recipe for this one? I have to try it!

  2. Busted! Sorry, It's updated now :)