Saturday, February 9, 2008

Penne with Spinach Sauce

I love this dish because it is quick (you can make the sauce while the pasta cooks) and it gets lots of spinach into my kids who otherwise would not go near it. The mushrooms add texture and make this dish a full meal for us.

Penne with Spinach Sauce
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian

1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces mushrooms
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 ounces goat cheese
1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the garlic, goat cheese, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Pour the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta and mushrooms. Toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with additional salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

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