Last night was one of those nights: we had a crazy busy weekend, no time to get groceries, and I was left staring at my open fridge at 7pm trying to figure out what to do for dinner. Luckily, with the help of a few frozen veggies and pantry staples – I was able to create an amazing, elegant meal in less than 30 min.
This dish is it’s super nutritious: with the spinach, red onions, garlic, tomatoes and whole wheat pasta providing fiber and antioxidants; and the cheese balancing out the meal with protein. It’s also budget friendly since most of the ingredients are frozen or canned. And time friendly too!
- Whole wheat rotini pasta
- 1 bag organic frozen spinach (I like the one from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (I used the frozen garlic from Trader Joe’s – such a time saver!)
- 1 14oz can fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies (the green chilies add a wonderful spicy kick to the pasta – so try to use that instead of just plain fire roasted tomatoes!)
- Jarred pasta sauce (I like the tomato/basil marinara from Trader Joe’s)
- Dried oregano to taste
- Grated fresh parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
Step 1: Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, saute the onions, garlic and frozen spinach with 1 Tbsp EVOO in a large saucepan.
Step 2: Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. Once the spinach mixture is heated through, add 2/3 of the fire roasted tomatoes (add more if you want the pasta to be spicier).
Step 3: Stir in salt, pepper, oregano into the spinach/tomato mixture – to taste. Heat up your pasta sauce and get ready to assemble/serve your dish! To assemble: Start with a layer of rotini pasta, top with veggie mixture, top with sauce, and finish off with 2 Tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese.
I liked layering the pasta like this because it reminded me of lasagna (without the time intensiveness of making lasagna)!
The husband was definitely happy with this dish – and I think the comfort-food quality helped to ease the pain of the Bulls losing Game 3 last night. Overall, not bad for a pantry meal!