Sunday, March 28, 2010

Whole Wheat Penne with Baby Bellas, Spinach, and Tomatoes

     Baby bellas were on sale at Trader Joe's this week and my thoughts immediately went to a light spring time pasta dish.  My food cravings really change with the seasons.  During the cold, winter months I inevitably crave heavy, comfort foods.  Come spring and summer, though, my body tells me to lighten it up and I usually do.  This is a simple dish that is a snap to put together.

Whole Wheat Penne with Baby Bellas, 
Spinach, and Tomatoes
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
10 oz. sliced baby bellas, rinsed and lightly patted dry
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
1- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

Step 1
Heat the oil in a large skillet. When the oil is plenty hot, add 
the garlic and shallot and cook 2-3 minutes until the shallot 
is soft and translucent.

Step 2
Add the wine and allow it to simmer about 2 minutes.  

*Tip:  My husband and I are not big drinkers, so buying a full bottle of wine for a recipe is usually a waste.  Instead, I buy a small bottle like this:
This bottle was only $2.00. 
Step 3
Add the mushrooms and herbs to the skillet.  Mix so that the herbs are evenly distributed among the mushrooms.  Allow to cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and reduced in size, about 6-8 minutes.  

Meanwhile, start boiling your water and cook the pasta according to package directions.  

Step 4
Add the tomatoes with their juice and partially cover the skillet.  Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.  The sauce should reduce slightly.  

Step 5
Add the spinach and stir until it begins to wilt, about 2-3 minutes.  

Step 6
Add the cooked penne to the skillet and stir to mix with the other ingredients.  
Step 7
Plate and serve!  

Yield: 6-8 servings

We had a ton of leftovers. It was great to heat up 
for lunch the next day.  I especially love this meal 
because it can get it on the table in about 35 minutes!


  1. This looks amazingly delicious, Maryea!! You take some awesome photos with that new camera of yours!! :)

  2. Thanks, Candice! This was a delicious meal. The photos are definitely a work in progress...

  3. Yum! I love the step-by-step pictures!