Pasta has always been a staple in my pantry. It makes an easy quick dinner and is very economical. In this pasta dish, I add some chick peas as a source of protein. Fire roasted tomatoes and spinach add nutrition, color and flavor.
I also tried out a tomato pasta. Feel free to use plain penne or even try out another veggie variety. It is the perfect comfort dish on a cool fall night.
I miss my summer bounty of fresh Jersey tomatoes. When the cooler weather comes, I like to stock up with cans of fire roasted tomatoes. When added to a pasta dish, they have an extra special sweetness that regular canned tomatoes just don’t have.
Of course, you can roast and can your own, which I do every summer, but eventually my supply runs out. So I purchase plenty of cans of fire roasted tomatoes as the next best thing.
I like to slather my dish of pasta with some good Italian Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper. However, I always serve the cheese on the side, especially if there is a vegan at my table. I make plenty of vegetarian dishes but when I need a vegan meal, I can struggle with coming up with something.
If you leave off the cheese, this is the perfect vegan meal.
You can serve this dish with a fancy salad such as a Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad or a Grilled Pear Salad, if you want to make dinner extra special. Or you can serve a light dessert, such as a winter fruit salad to complete your meal.
If you are looking for a vegan or vegetarian meal, give this one a try. It’s quick and easy to make but also delicious. Everyone will be giving big compliments to the chef!
- 12 ounces penne
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 5 ounces chopped frozen spinach
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- salt and red pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta ala dente per package directions.
- Drain and keep warm. Reserve a half cup of pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil on medium heat in a large frying pan. Add garlic, tomatoes and spinach.
- Cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is simmering.
- Add beans and basil. Cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
- Add pasta and reserved half cup of pasta water. Stir well and cook until bubbly.
- Season pasta to taste with salt and red pepper.
- Serve in a large bowl with plenty of Parmesan cheese on the side.
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