Monday, June 13, 2011

Pesto Pasta with Spinach - A Family Favorite

Pesto Pasta with Spinach

Every afternoon I get that same age-old question, "What's For Dinner?". My boys are completely different when it comes to likes and dislikes regarding food. I am sure every household struggles with what to prepare for dinner that pleases all family members. It has been a real challenge for me to come up with a healthy dinner menu that truly pleases, but I have managed to find a few. 

I thought I would begin by sharing some of them with all of you. I hope you enjoy! This recipe is an absolute family favorite. 

Although, our family is not vegetarian we try to eat vegetarian meals at least 3 times a week.

Pesto Pasta with Spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic or about 1 clove
  • 1 cup of pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 3 Tbl capers, drained or chopped green olives
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Penne noodles or any noodle you like
  • 12 ounces baby spinach, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded Parmesan cheese to taste
In a large stockpot, boil the water for the pasta. 

 Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, combine the garlic, pesto, olive oil, and capers. Wash the spinach leaves, tear off any stems, and cut into tiny bit size pieces (kids seem to like it better if you cut the spinach). 

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook it according to the package directions until it is about 1 minute short of being done. Add the spinach to the water for the last min. of cooking.  

Drain the pasta and spinach immediately.  Add to the pesto mixture and toss to coat. Season it with salt and pepper and top each individual serving with Parmesan cheese. 

I serve this pasta with a side salad and fresh homemade garlic rolls.

*Do not leave out the capers! I have left them out before and it is not as good. If you do not like capers you may be able to substitute green olives or something with a salty nature.*