Ever since seeing this recipe on Jenna’s Blog, I have been wanting to make it. When I finally got around to making it, I realized that it was very similar to my recipe that I love, love, love…Pasta Shells with Spinach, Roasted Tomatoes, Artichokes & Chicken. Now after making and eating both of these dishes, I think I would like to make a dish that combines both of these recipes. I absolutely loved the flavor that the lemon juice and zest brought to Jenna’s pasta dish. I also loved the kick that the red pepper flakes added to this dish. Jenna used sun-dried tomatoes, which I am not a huge fan of, so I substituted those with roasted red peppers. I liked this addition; however, next time I’d probably use roasted tomatoes like I used in my dish. I also think the lemon flavor lends itself well with artichokes, so I think substituting the beans with artichokes would be a good variation of this dish. Certainly, the baby spinach, garlic, and parmesan cheese will stay. Overall, a healthy, light, and delicious pasta dish. This is also one of the easiest pasta dishes I have ever made and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Now you have no excuse not to make dinner during your busy week!! This is also going to make packing my lunch tomorrow really easy!
Penne with White Beans and Spinach (adapted from Jenna’s recipe)
- 3/4 lb dry penne pasta (I used whole wheat)
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups baby spinach
- zest of one lemon
- juice of two lemons
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water. When cooked, drain and reserve one half cup of cooking liquid. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for two minutes, until toasted and fragrant.
- Add the cooked pasta, beans, roasted red peppers and spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Add the lemon zest, juice, salt, red pepper flakes and cheese and toss well. Add some of the cooking water if the mixture seems dry.
Question: What is your favorite flavor to pair with pasta?