Rotini with Spinach, Tomato and Goat Cheese

18 Jan

A pasta sauce that comes together while the noodles cook is a Savvy Single’s path to a quick supper. Fill the sauce full of vegetables, use cheese for your protein and you have a nutritious vegetarian meal. If gluten is your enemy, switch out the durum wheat pasta for your favourite corn or rice substitute.

Gather your ingredients

Gather your ingredients

I adapted this sauce from one found on a coupon offer from Aylmer Accents canned tomatoes. I find it supremely easy to stock and use my supply of herbs, rather than buy the pre-seasoned canned variety. Cheaper, too. The recipe, however is a winner.

I made just enough for two servings, but the recipe is easily be doubled if you have a friend or two over for supper some evening. By cooking the sauce just long enough to meld the flavours, you end up with a fresh, lively taste rather than a smoothed-out, robust sauce. This is a nice change from a hearty Bolognese sauce.

Soften onions, cook mushrooms

Soften onions, cook mushrooms

Start by setting a pot of water on to boil. Then add 2 cups of dried rotini (or other pasta), reduce temperature to medium high and cook until al dente (as directed on the package).

Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet and set over medium heat. Peel and finely dice half of a small cooking onion. When oil is warm, add the onions and cook them until they just start to soften, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Clean 4 – 6 large mushrooms, remove their stems and slice them. Peel a large clove of garlic and squash it (by applying pressure from the heel of your hand to the wide side of a knife on top of the clove).

Add the smashed garlic clove and the sliced mushrooms to the skillet, cook stirring often until the mushrooms have released their liquid. If the garlic starts to burn, turn down the heat. If the oil doesn’t seem to last, I add a bit of water to the bottom of the pan instead of adding more fat calories.

Diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings

Diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings

To the pan, add ½ can (28 oz/796 mL) of diced tomatoes, including juice. Add ground black pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano and ½ teaspoon dried rosemary. Stir into the tomato mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce temperature and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes.

 

Simmer sauce just until it starts to thicken.

Simmer sauce just until it starts to thicken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop spinach into cooking pasta during last minute before draining.

Drop spinach into cooking pasta during last minute before draining.

 

Wash and spin 2 cups of baby spinach. Add it to the pasta pot during the last minute of cooking. Drain the cooked pasta and spinach then return it to the pot. Add the tomato sauce to the pasta and 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese. Stir to coat pasta, divide between two pasta bowls and serve each with half the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

 

Toss rotini, wilted spinach and tomato sauce. Top with crumbled goat cheese

Toss rotini, wilted spinach and tomato sauce. Top with crumbled goat cheese

If you are reserving the second serving for later consumption, leave out the crumbled goat and grated Parmesan cheeses. To reheat the second pasta bowl, add a bit of water to the bottom of the bowl, cover with a splatter shield and microwave on High just until heated through (2 – 3 minutes at most). Spinach goes bitter and wonky at high heat for long periods of time. Then add the goat cheese and toss to melt the cheese and combine with pasta and sauce.

Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired. I found it unnecessary.

Stirring in the goat cheese makes for a messy bowl, but once you take the first bite you won’t even notice the splattered rim of your pasta bowl. I promise.

Creamy, fresh, lively flavours, you'll barely notice how nutritious this meal is.

Creamy, fresh, lively flavours, you’ll barely notice how nutritious this meal is.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: