Sunday, March 17, 2013

Baked Gemelli Pasta with Roasted Peppers and Spinach

Sorry to say that any pasta in our house gets pretty much devoured.  Therefore the picture above is the empty casserole container instead of the actually prepared dish.  I never got the chance to take a picture of the dish before it was eaten...ha!

Baked Gemelli Pasta with Roasted Peppers and Spinach


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Italian spice
2 to 3 Whole roasted red peppers, chopped
14 oz Diced, crushed or whole tomatoes
2 Handfuls of fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 1/2 Cups gemelli pasta (penne or rotini would work as well)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Cup mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp fresh basil 

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine roasted red peppers and tomatoes and blend with a hand mixer or food processor until smooth.

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and Italian spice.  Cook an additional minute, but be careful that the garlic does not burn.

Add tomato-red pepper mixture and water to the onions.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

Cook gemelli pasta according to al dente instructions.  Add spinach to the pasta water 1 minute before pasta is finished cooking.  Drain pasta mixture.

Add pasta to tomato mixture.  Place in baking dish and top with cheese.  Cook COVERED for about 15-20 mintues.  Remove cover and cook until cheese is melted.  You can set the oven setting to broil to quickly melt and brown the cheese.

Remove from oven and top with fresh basil.  Serve with a side salad and fresh bread if desired.