$3.72 RECIPE / $0.93 SERVING
Easy wins again!
I am on day 6 of an 8-day work week, which means I am both exhausted and hungry. This event calls for quick skillet pasta dishes like Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta.
They require few ingredients, cook really quickly, and leave me feeling satisfied!:)
Anyway, tomorrow is Monday (again), and the week will be long, so I hope this recipe makes your weeknight meals a little quicker, easier, and more fun! Enjoy!
WHAT TO Serve Alongside Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta
This Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta recipe is almost a complete meal, but you may want to serve it with a side dish, such as crusty Garlic Bread, No-Knead Focaccia Rolls, or a light Simple Side Salad.
You can also beef up the dish by adding Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breasts or by frying Italian sausage in the skillet before adding the onion and garlic.
CAN THE CREAM CHEESE BE SUBSTITUTED?
This version of Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta utilizes a small amount of cream cheese and Parmesan to make a typical tomato sauce rich and creamy.
If you’re not a fan of cream cheese, you could also add a dash (about 1/4 cup) of half-and-half or heavy cream to obtain a similar result.
MAY I substitute a different pasta?
Whole wheat pasta would offer fiber and nutrients to make this dish more balanced. You may also substitute the form with another short pasta, such as bowtie or rotini.
MAY I USE REFRIGERATED SPINACH?
If fresh spinach is out of your budget, you can substitute thawed and squeezed 8 ounces of frozen spinach. With sliced mushrooms, this dish would be much better.
Just sauté the mushrooms with the onion and garlic in the beginning. You might also prepare a simple, creamy tomato sauce. That is perfectly OK!
CREAMY TOMATO AND SPINACH PASTA
- 1/2 lb. penne pasta ($0.75)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.28)
- 2 cloves of garlic ($0.16)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil ($0.16)
- 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.59)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper (optional) ($0.02)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste ($0.03)
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste ($0.08)
- 2 oz. cream cheese ($0.20)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.31)
- 4 oz. fresh spinach ($0.65)
- On high heat, bring a big saucepan of water to a boil. Continue to cook the pasta until it is tender (7-10 minutes). Colander-drain the cooked pasta.
- Prepare the creamy tomato sauce throughout the cooking time of the pasta. The onion and garlic should be diced and minced, respectively. In a large skillet, sauté the onion, garlic, and olive oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent and tender (3-5 minutes).
- Add the chopped tomatoes (with their juices), oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, salt, and freshly cracked pepper to the pan. Mix thoroughly. Stir tomato paste and a half cup of water into the sauce in the skillet.
- Reduce the temperature to low. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and add them to the tomato sauce in the skillet. Stir the sauce with a whisk until the cream cheese is completely melted and the sauce is creamy. Stir the Parmesan into the sauce until it has completely melted.
- Add the fresh spinach to the skillet and toss it until it wilts, being careful not to break up the leaves (2-3 minutes). Add the pasta to the tomato sauce and stir until it is evenly coated. Adjust the salt and pepper according to taste. Serve heated.
NUTRITION IN TOMATO AND SPINACH PASTA
- Serving: 1 serving
- Calories: 309.43 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 54.15 g
- Protein: 11.53 g
- Fat: 5.75 g
- Sodium: 348.9 mg
- Fiber: 5.75 g
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO AND SPINACH PASTA – STEP-BY-STEP
- Bring water to a rolling boil. Add 8 ounces of penne pasta while the water is boiling. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain it in a strainer. While the pasta cooks, you will prepare the tomato cream sauce.
- One onion and two garlic cloves should be diced. Combine them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Three to five minutes over medium heat, or until the onion is transparent and tender.
- Stir together 12 tsp dried basil, 12 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and some freshly cracked pepper, along with one 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes (with juices) in a skillet.
- Also, add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1/2 cup water to the skillet. This will aid in thickening the sauce and enhancing its tomato flavor. Continue to whisk and cook over medium heat until the tomato paste is evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
- Reduce heat to a low setting. Add two ounces of cream cheese cut into bits to the pan. Stir or whisk the sauce until the cream cheese has completely melted into it. The cream cheese will finally melt, resulting in a smoother sauce.
- After the cream cheese has melted, add a quarter cup of grated Parmesan. Stir the liquid until the Parmesan cheese has melted.
- Place 4 ounces of fresh spinach in the skillet. Stir the pan until the spinach is wilted by the sauce’s heat (1-2 minutes).
- Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan and toss to incorporate.
Enjoy your meal immediately!
Displayed with more Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper.