Spinach-Artichoke Pasta with Vegetables

Hey guys! I wanted to pop in before the long holiday weekend and share some of my recent cooking endeavors. Specifically, the endeavors involving those gorgeous tomatoes grown by EMMA Acres that I recently purchased during a trip to Biercamp.

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The first way I used them was probably my favorite way to eat tomatoes: in the form of tomato bruschetta. Cannot.get.enough. Toasted, garlic-rubbed baguette slices are the ideal vehicle for delivering amazing tomato basil goodness to your face.

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I would also like to mention the bangin’ Chipotle Lime Butter I made for our grilled corn. ‘Nother level, kids, whole ‘nother level.

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Heck yeah, we just throw our oil-brushed corn straight on the grill. #reckless

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As for the other half of these beauts…

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…they were bound for a Cooking Light recipe: Spinach-Artichoke Pasta with Vegetables.

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That’s right spinach-artichoke, as in TGIFriday’s spin’ dip from your grocery store’s freezer section. You know you love this stuff. You can’t deny it it’s crack-like qualities.

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At this point I’m a little worried I may have lost any ‘street cred’ I had in the world of nomming.

Because, yes, that’s right, I totally mixed those amazing, gorgeous, local organic tomatoes with a box of frozen spinach and artichoke dip. But hey, it was Cooking Light’s idea, not mine.

Can you guys dig that? I can dig it.

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In fact, I thought using frozen Spinach and Artichoke Dip was quite clever. On of my favorite indulgence foods in a healthy dinner form!? Yes!

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Spinach-Artichoke Pasta with Vegetables

Recipe from Cooking Light

Ingredients
      • 8 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
      • 2 cups (2-inch) cut asparagus
      • 1 cup (2 x 1/2-inch) cut yellow bell pepper
      • 2/3 cup low-fat milk
      • 1 (8-ounce) package frozen spinach-and-artichoke cheese dip (such as T.G.I. Friday’s), thawed
      • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
      • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
      • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted [I omitted these… I actually mean to sub in the walnuts I had on hand, but forgot until after the fact.]
      • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)
Preparation
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add asparagus and bell pepper to pan; drain.
  2. Combine milk and spinach dip in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Combine pasta mixture, spinach mixture, salt, and tomatoes in a large bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle with basil, pine nuts, and cheese.

My rating: 6.8/10

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