Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whole Wheat Penne Arrabbiata with Spinach

My sisters like cooking at my place. It has a bit more room, and the food tastes a little bit better. A big pot of spaghetti and sauce, some warm French bread - works all the time. I think I've been eating pasta for 26 years.

Everyone loves pasta, especially spaghetti but it can be kind of boring sometimes. I love pasta and all types but there are two types that I can always eat and that's medium shells and penne. Red sauce is always my go to. If I'm looking for a quick lunch pasta and sauce are quick and easy. For dinner on the other hand I wanted to do something special for my lady. So I flipped through our binder to find a good pasta dinner recipe and Rachel Ray came to the rescue for something slightly different.

We love spicy food and this one promised that, plus it used fresh, wilted greens. Now the original recipe calls for Arugula but we went with spinach. (We have been eating more it because Popeye said we need to eat our Spinach to make our muscles grow, although they don't grow like his when we eat it)

Overall it was another great dinner; of course there was some minor tweaking to our tastes of course.

Don't forget to cook you meal listening to some great music. For this day I was interested in listening to Dia Frampton's cover album that she has. You can find it here: Cover Mondays put I’ll leave you the playlist for you

Cover Mondays Cover Art
Photo Via

1. Landslide (Stevie Nicks)
2. The First Cut Is the Deepest (Cat Stevens)
3. Skinny Love (Bon Iver)
4. Someone Like You (Adele) with Carlo Gimenez
5.  If I Die Young (The Band Perry) with Carlo Gimenez
6. Such Great Heights (The Postal Service)
7. Bless the Broken Road (Rascall Flatts)
8. Colder Weather (Zac Brown Band)
9. Where I Stood (Missy Higgins)
10. The Cave (Mumford & Sons)
11. Ballad of Love and Hate (Avett Brothers)
12. Animal (Neon Trees)
13. Never Fade (Dia Frampton original, not a cover)

Now onto the cooking:

First you need to get a pot of water boiling and a deep pan sizzling with olive oil

It looks like a pigs nose...ahahahaha

Next you need to start dicing up a red onion, grate some garlic and add some red pepper to the bowl of things to go in the pan to cook up first.

This was a pain because the garlic is a little slick

Look at that, it sizzles
First you add some balsamic vinegar and let it cook 5 mins Next you add the crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried parsley, crushed red pepper (yeah I added it twice), oregano and cayenne pepper.

Can you smell what the Mike is cooking! I bet you wish you could.
 After it simmers for 10+ minutes you add the cooked pasta and a little bit of pasta water, so save some of that water. Cook for a minute or so more. 

 Add the cheese...
Is your mouth salivating yet? 

Then add the spinach and cook til wilted

Doesn't that look tasty!
Then plated it up and enjoy

Whole Wheat Penne Arrabbiata with Spinach


1 pound whole wheat penne rigate or gemelli pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Black pepper
1 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
4 cups baby spinach 

1.     Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water.
2.     While the pasta is working, in a deep skillet, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and spices and cook for 5 minutes, then the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
3.     Add the pasta and reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet and toss for 1 minute. Add the cheese, then toss in the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute longer.

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