Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Penne ragu with spinach

Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Adapted from Blue Apron

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Penne ragu with spinach

Pasta with spinach and tomatoes! Oh this pasta recipe is one of my absolute favorites. There’s so much going on, but yet, it’s so easy to prepare. Pasta, spinach, cheddar cheese, ground beef…you have a little of everything here and you’ll love it!

A block of ground beef in a pot

The first thing we do is brown the ground beef. We don’t eat a lot of red meat in this family, but when we do I try and use organic, grass-fed meat. I used it here and you can ABSOLUTELY tell a difference between the processed meat. Heat some olive oil and brown it up!

Ground beef with shallot

Once we get the ground beef browned, add some shallot to give it a nice flavor. Cook it up with the beef for a minute or two.

Tomato sauce in a pot

Then add your crushed tomatoes and your tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes if you prefer). Cook this up for about 10 minutes or so until it starts to thicken a bit. I’m a big Cento fan when it comes to my canned tomatoes. Love the taste and the texture of all their tomatoes.

Pasta cooking in a pot
Penne and tomato sauce in a pot

While the sauce cooks, add the penne to some salted boiling water (no oil!). Once it’s cooked to al dente, strain it but save about 3-4 cups of the water used to cook the pasta…we’re gonna use that later. Add the penne to the pot of ground beef and tomatoes.

I typically cook my pasta in my Rachael Ray 8 QT pasta pot. I love it! It’s big enough for me to easily fit 2 pounds of pasta and the way my daughter, Morgan eats pasta…we need every bit of 2 pounds on Fridays lol.

Spinach and pasta in a pot

Now it’s time to get down to business. Let’s put the heat up to medium and start adding the spinach in batches. As you add, pour a little of the reserved cooking water to help wilt the spinach. Continue to add until all the spinach is in and wilted.

Shredded cheddar cheese in pasta

The finishing touch! Turn the heat to low, and add the shredded cheese to the pasta. Mix together until all melted. Enjoy!

Penne ragu with spinach

Tools I used in this recipe:


Penne ragu with spinach

Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Pasta with spinach and tomatoes! Oh this pasta recipe is one of my absolute favorites. There’s so much going on, but yet, it’s so easy to prepare. Pasta, spinach, cheddar cheese, ground beef…you have a little of everything here and you’ll love it!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Dutch oven
  • Pasta pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground beef grass-fed
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes canned
  • 15 oz tomato sauce canned
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 lb spinach
  • 2 tsp shallot minced
  • tsp crushed red pepper or more if you like it more on the spicy side
  • lb penne rigate or rigatoni if you want a larger pasta

Seasoning

  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Instructions
 

  • Heat a pot of salted water until boiling.
  • While the water boils, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the ground beef. Cook, mixing frequently until browned (about 5-6 minutes). Set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat. Once heated, add the shallot and spice blend. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  • Add as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and the cooked ground beef into the pan. Cook for about 8-10 minutes (or until you reach your desired consistency).
  • Cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water, cook until al dente (follow the instructions on your pasta). Save 3-4 cups of the water you used to cook the pasta and set both aside.
  • Turn off the heat in the pan and add the cheese. Mix all together.
  • Add the spinach by working in batches. Slowly add as much of the reserved water little by little with each batch of spinach until the spinach is wilted (or plasmolyzed as the ‘Guinea Pig’ would say 🙂
  • Once all the spinach is mixed in, add the pasta. Turn to medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes until all mixed together and hot.

Video

Notes

Serve hot and top with some of your favorite grated cheese if desired.  Enjoy!
Keyword creamy, Pasta

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