When in doubt - turn to Giada! She has got me out of a food jam many times. Well, I suppose, this did not constitute as a jam...but it was a "what do we make for dinner?" moment. I made this pasta dish a few months ago and remembered how delicious and easy it was. And as you must know by now, delicious + easy = Georgia's favorite type of recipe!
Also, this is on the healthy side of pasta recipes, especially if you use wheat pasta (which you should!). Full on fiber and cancer-fighters, this pasta dish is a winner. I love pasta - my quarter of Italian ancestry is a strong one. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, pasta meals can be high in calories and fat. Boo! I love finding ways to satisfy my carb cravings in a more heart and waist healthy way.
You could do this dish hot or cold - we opted for hot this time. Giada uses a plain goat cheese, but we found a garlic-chive goat cheese at the farmer's market that made our dinner extra garlicky!!! Good thing we both had garlic breath, wink wink...
Also, because this is a pasta recipe, I submitted it to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Daphne of More than Words.
Penne with Spinach Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound whole wheat or multi grain penne
3 garlic cloves
2 ounces goat cheese
1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
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.
Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and half of the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.
Meanwhile, place the remaining spinach leaves in a large bowl.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta atop the spinach leaves in the bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve.