Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spinach Feta Penne Pasta

Some of the best meals are the simplest ones. Back when I was doing my dietetic internship and living by myself, I would always resort to affordable, quick meals - especially pasta. Customers are always asking me if pasta is a good meal choice and I always tell them it can be, as long as you're pairing it with the right ingredients and watching the portion. This recipe in particular is veggie-loaded with just the right amount of feta to give it that nice, salty "bite". The crushed red pepper adds a good kick, but not to the point where it's overwhelming. If you love spicy food like I do, this is also delicious with some pickled jalapeƱos. If you can find pasta with added protein and omega-3 fatty acids like this one, that's even better!


This meal cost me $10.20 and took me 15 minutes to prepare.

1. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until slightly golden, 3-4 minutes.

3. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.



4. Add baby spinach and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Then, add chopped tomatoes and feta cheese and stir to combine.



5. Add sundried tomato, crushed red pepper and cooked penne and toss. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

Spinach Feta Penne Pasta
Serves 4

All you need:
7 oz. whole grain penne, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz.) package baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 oz.) bag baby spinach
2 roma tomatoes, diced small
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

All you do:
1. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until slightly golden, 3-4 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add baby spinach and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Then, add chopped tomatoes and feta cheese and stir to combine.
5. Add sundried tomato, crushed red pepper and cooked penne and toss. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

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