Adapted from Blue Apron
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!
If you'd like to try another creamy recipe, check out my Creamy Spinach Gnocchi with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes. Can't go wrong!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The finishing touch! Turn the heat to low, and add the shredded cheese to the pasta. Mix together until all melted. Enjoy!
Tools I used in this recipe:
- Lodge 7.5 Quart Dutch Oven
- Rachael Ray 8 Quart Pasta Pot
- Pyrex Measuring Cups
- Pyrex Custard Cups
- Riveira Wooden Cooking Utensils
- KP Kitchen Measuring Cups/Spoons
- Cento Crushed Tomatoes
Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
- 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.