Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

CreamyTomatoSpinachPasta1This recipe is a wonderful meal to make on a Meatless Monday.  It is super easy and will easily become a family favorite.  The spinach mixes in with the pasta and hides it enough so the kids will eat it up!

Total time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 oz cream cheese (I used Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb pasta (penne or campanelle pasta are both good to use)
  • 8 oz fresh spinach

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.

2. While the pasta is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cook until softened and transparent.

3. Add the diced tomatoes with juices, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the pan.  Stir to combine.  Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of water to the sauce.  Stir until the tomato paste is combined with the rest of the sauce.

4. Turn the heat down to low.  Add small bits of cream cheese to the tomato sauce and stir until the cream cheese has melted completely.  Add 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese to the pan stirring until combined.  Add the remainder of the Parmesan and stir until completely combined.

5.  Stir the spinach into the sauce.  Cover the pan and cook the spinach until it is wilted.  Add the pasta to the pan and mix well.

Serve with garlic bread.

Tofutti1When I cooked this recipe I made a few changes to make it a dairy free meal.  I substituted Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese  for the cream cheese.  Toffuti is a great brand that offers many dairy free options of milk products.  In the past I have cooked with their version sour cream and cream cheese.

Tip: This is a quick recipe to make and it uses ingredients easily found in any pantry.  This recipe doubles in size very nicely and can be served at your next party.

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