This meatless Creamy Tomato and Mushroom Pasta with spinach is a filling weeknight dinner you can make without needing to buy a jar of sauce.

1/2 pound (8 ounces or 1/2 box) uncooked Barilla Penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
2 medium tomatoes*, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
2 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups fresh spinach leaves

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne as directed on the package until al dente, roughly 11-12 minutes. Drain into a colander.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until hot. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.

3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, basil, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until the tomato paste is smooth with the broth then bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted.

4. Add the spinach leaves and wait 30 seconds before stirring (as the spinach cooks, it’ll shrink and be easier to stir). Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until wilted and bright green.

5. To serve, in a large bowl mix together the cooked penne and sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes: *If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use one (14 ounce) canned tomatoes with juices.


Full Recipe: Chocolate Moosey.

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