I’ve been eating this dish for years. One of my sisters-in-law introduced me to this recipe twenty or so years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s a creamy-sauced pasta dish with spinach and tomatoes – rich, but made with milk instead of cream. And it’s one of my favorite things ever to eat with my Rosemary Focaccia Bread (try dipping the bread in extra sauce…you’ll understand why). In fact, every time my family gets together for a reunion, we invariably end up making a huge batch of this pasta and focaccia to go with it.
What you need:
- 1 lb. penne pasta (other shapes are fine, too – rotini and tortellini work well)
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 c. chopped onion
- 3-6 cloves minced garlic
- 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 c. tomato, seeded and chopped (can use 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained)
- 1 1/2 t. basil
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 1/4 c. crumbled bacon, optional, for serving
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- cracked black pepper, optional, for serving
- White Sauce:
- 3 T. butter
- 3 T. flour
- 3 c. milk
- measuring cups and spoons
- cutting board and knife
- saucepan and whisk
- non-stick skillet and wooden spoon
Time: 30 minutes
Freezeable: The sauce is freezeable.
Multiplying the recipe: The sauce recipe multiplies pretty easily. Just make sure your pans are big enough!
Creamy Spinach Pasta:
Start a large pot of water boiling to cook the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta water is heating up, make the white sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir until thick and pasty. Add the milk gradually, stirring frequently. The white sauce will thicken.
While the white sauce is thickening, add the onions and oil to the non-stick skillet and saute until soft. Add the spinach and cook about 5 minutes. Add the spices and tomatoes. Cook 3-5 minutes more. Add the white sauce and cook until bubbly and thickened.
To serve, put some pasta on a plate. Spoon the sauce over top. Serve with Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper, and crumbled bacon, if desired.