i first made this recipe back in february when hosting two of my favorite ladies for dinner, one of which is a vegetarian so it was perfect. since then, i have evolved the recipe and added whatever proteins matt and i are in the mood for (both chicken and shrimp work great). i love this recipe because it is light, fresh and unlike many pasta dishes doesn't leave you in complete food coma. in honor of complete disclosure, matt says it needs to be heavier and more substantial (all the opposite of why i love it). nonetheless, we both agree it is tasty, refreshing and perfect for summertime. enjoy!
1 cup vegetable broth
12 dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked penne pasta (i prefer whole wheat)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth 15 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving broth, and coarsely chop.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook 9 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
3. Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted.
4. Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the garlic 1 minute, until tender. Mix in the spinach, and cook until almost wilted. Pour in the reserved broth, and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking 2 minutes, or until heated through.
5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach and tomato mixture and pine nuts. Serve with Parmesan cheese.