I got home today my mind made up to eat some pasta. I love pasta in all shapes, sizes and forms. I looked around in the kitchen and started gathering up all the ingredients that remotely looked like they could go in with the pasta. I then remembered that the ingredients I had on hand closely matched to the ones in a Rachael Ray pasta creation I watched 3-4 weeks ago. Armed with the penne in the cupboard, fresh veggies and cheese in the refrigerator, Rachael Ray's recipe pulled up on the computer I made a replica. I did make modifications to this recipe - added different veggies, added in some cottage cheese, changed the pasta to penne (since that is what I had on hand) etc.
Since a good amount of veggies went into making this dish, I though this could make a worthy entry into Sweetnicks ARF/5-a-day Tuesday.
- 1/2 pound or 8 oz penne rigate/campanelle/cavatappi pasta
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup sliced protobello mushrooms
- 1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp dried basil or about 1/2 cup of fresh basil
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp or more, red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, EVOO
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Saucepan - to make the pasta
- Stockpot to boil the pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, toss in the pasta, add a little salt and cook according to the package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- Put a large skillet/saucepan on medium heat, add the 1 tbsp EVOO to coat the pan.
- Add the onions and garlic and saute for a minute on medium-high heat.
- Add the mushrooms and yellow pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped spinach and heat through until it is wilted through. Add the roasted red pepper. Add salt and pepper, stir. Transfer the veggies onto a plate.
- Put the same saucepan on the stove, add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and butter. Add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes to make a roux that will help thicken our white sauce.
- Add the vegetable stock and the milk. Bring it to a boil. Add the italian seasoning, the dried basil leaves, red pepper flakes, nutmeg. The white sauce will now start to thicken. Add the ricotta and cottage cheeses, stir so the cheese melts. Add the reserved pasta water. Add the veggies back in so they heat through.
- Mix the pasta with the sauce.
Tips: This makes about 2-3 servings. This recipe can be easily doubled.