When you get a surprise 30 degree drop in the temperature outside, you need a warm, cheesy pasta dish to help you cope. I love this dish because it doesn’t require that I go to the store, I almost always have these ingredients in my pantry. You also get a pasta fix without blowing your diet, the whole wheat pasta, spinach, and tomatoes make for a pretty healthy meal.
- ½ lb of whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried basil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 4oz. of fresh spinach
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta in a colander, add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and toss.
- 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.
- Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and salt to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
- Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into 6 pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted 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.
- Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted. Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated.