Sunday, December 22, 2013

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta

I love a good pasta dish that allows me to just throw in the "veggie requirement" for that meal. One-dish dinners are my favorite. Now if you can make it one pot, I'm in heaven.

We had sweet friends from D.C. over this weekend as they passed through on their way home for the holidays - even though we only saw them for a few short hours - it was wonderful to have them here and meet their sweet baby.

For some reason - I always think it is a wonderful idea to try a new recipe for company. Luckily, this one was a big hit. I took the recipe originally from


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ lb. penne pasta
  • 9 oz. fresh spinach 
Hint: I used "small shells" pasta - and used 14 oz - and this barely served 4 people - so I would make an entire box of pasta in the future.


  1.  Dice the onion and mince the garlic, set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta.
  3. While waiting for the pasta, cook the onion and garlic in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
  5. Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
  6. Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.


  1. Can't wait to try this! ! Any chance you'll pay your quiche recipe? ??? You're a fanatic cook! !!

    1. Aww, thanks. Josh and I were just saying we haven't had quiche in forever and then we had a good laugh about the spinach quiche. :) I'll have to dig it out and post. Love you!