Rotini with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Spinach

June 27, 2011 at 9:00 am 1 comment

Have some picky eaters in your family? (Yup!) Or looking for a simple weeknight dinner? (Always!) Or are you just a pasta lover looking for something new to try? (Guilty.) This sauce is perfect for new cooks looking to start experimenting in the kitchen with a meal that comes together in minutes. The tomatoes can be roasted on the grill or in the stove, and then mashed with a fork. The spinach picks up a lot of the flavor of the tomatoes and is a good way to hide some greens in your meal. If you have smart picky eaters, like my sister, you can leave the spinach out. I like doing pasta night family style and make-your-own. This works even better now that my sister needs gluten-free pasta. She actually loved the taste of the GF pasta, but it is too expensive to make for the whole family so she gets her own treat! I drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pasta after it is done cooking to help it from sticking together. I put the sauce in one bowl, the chicken in another, and lay the cheese out on the table. That way, people can take as much or as little sauce and extras as they want and everyone is happy!

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Question: How do you like your pasta?

Roasted Tomato and Spinach Sauce

serves 6-8

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups cherry tomatoes, roasted

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, somewhat drained

1 6-oz bag baby spinach

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper to taste

10-12 basil leaves, chiffonade

1 lb pasta, cooked

Season the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on the grill over medium-high heat, or in the oven, until the skins begin to wrinkle. Remove the tomatoes into a bowl and mash with a fork to release the juices. Leave the skins to be chunky. Mix in the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Season lightly with salt and pepper. In a sautee pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp olive oil and garlic. Add spinach and begin to wilt. When it is slightly wilted, add the tomato sauce over the spinach and heat until spinach and sauce are heated through. Add basil and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked pasta with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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