Friday, September 2, 2011

Foodie Friday

 It's that time again!  I actually had a few options to choose from today for Foodie Friday, but I chose what I cooked last night since it was most recent.  I guess I will just have a few "back up" options for weeks that we are out of town or don't do much cooking.  I hope not to have many of the weeks without any cooking because I'm finding that I really do enjoy trying new recipes!

Today's Foodie Friday features Easy Baked Pasta from Shape's September 2010 issue.  I found it easy to make and pretty tasty!  The recipe says it serves 4, but I could see it serving 6 - especially if served with salad and/or garlic bread!
2 cups whole-wheat penne
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups baby spinach
3 cups diced tomato, divided
1 tbsp dried oregano
pinch of salt
3/4 cup shredded lowfat cheddar cheese, divided
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente (about 12 minutes).  Rinse penne under cold water and drain; set aside.
3) Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.  Add spinach and 2 cups of tomato; cook for about 4 minutes, until spinach wilts.
4) In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 cup of tomato, herbs, and salt.  Transfer the cooked tomato mixture to the bowl and stir well.  Add pasta to tomato mixture and combine thoroughly.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
5) Grease bottom of baking dish with remaining 1 tsp of oil.  Pour pasta mixture into dish.  Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake until cheese melts, about 4 more minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
As you can see, I served the pasta with Lite Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad.  It was delicious!  I think some other things could be added to that pasta mixture - maybe some grilled chicken, or some green/yellow/red bell peppers (diced), some fresh basil, or some onion.  Also, more cheese could be added, but then it would not be as healthy.  I also thought about adding some half and half to the tomato mixture cooked on the stovetop to make it a little creamier, but I also opted to not try that because of wanting to keep it healthy.  It was just fine the way it was - I heard no complaints!

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