Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

Recipe from Inspired Dreamer

Here is a yummy and simple pasta recipe. It is nice and creamy without being too heavy. I added some shrimp to the dish because I had some on hand, and it was quite tasty!

What you'll need
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 15 oz. (about 445 mL) can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
freshly cracked pepper to taste
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 oz. cream cheese (about 1/4 of a block)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 lb. penne pasta
1/2 bag (9 oz.) fresh spinach

How to
1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander reserving some of the water for later.

2.  Meanwhile, cook garlic and onion 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 freshly cracked pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine. Add tomato paste and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta 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 add to the skillet with 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, and whisk until melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.

5.  Add the spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve.

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