Spinach Tomato Penne Pasta
A quick homemade red sauce full of yummy and healthy ingredients!
In general, pasta cooked from a box is one of the staple quick dinner meals. Most of the time people whip this together with just store-bought sauce. This recipe proves it is not only possible to beat the flavor of that sauce, but to beat in less time than the noodles will cook for! This recipe is easy and affordable, all done from the time you put cold water on the stove to when those noodles are done to your liking.
In many recipes in this vein, homemade tomato sauce, it is common to start with oil and onions. We decided to expand on this idea and maximize flavor by infusing this oil as its heating, before any other ingredients get to it. A quick spice mixture is added to the hot oil so that when those onions do go on they are ready to absorb the flavorful oil.
This infused oil, onion and garlic mixture is the flavor powerhouse of the whole dish. Many recipes we analyzed either follow this workflow (though they put spice on the end) or rely on simmering all ingredients together to get the right flavor. Simmering or waiting for liquids to reduce costs time, though. By creating enough flavor right out the gate, there is no need to wait on simmering or liquid reduction.
All that’s needed is a tad bit of liquid to melt the cheese in. The tomatoes with their juice provided enough liquid to do this without diluting any flavor with added broth or water. Then, by the time the cream cheese is melted in the noodles are finishing up. Simply mix in the spinach, cheese and noodles and you are ready to serve!