I love spinach and we have gotten it weekly in our CSA from the beginning. Of course in the summer it always goes in a salad, but I must admit when winter comes (and every once in a while it does dip below 60 degrees in San Diego), I have a hard time eating salad for dinner. This is a great alternative to using fresh spinach in a salad. The sauce is not cooked but rather warmed by the hot pasta as you toss it together.
You can call it whatever you like. Some days it’s the “Oscar the Grouch Sauce”, other days “Alien Sauce”. Whatever you want to call it, I can assure you if you have a picky eater like I do, DO NOT call it Spinach Sauce. Not unless you want them to turn their nose up at it. They will never know what is in the sauce and your secret is safe with me.
The store-bought rotissere chicken has been a recent addition. However, if you are vegetarian or don’t want to add chicken, know that the sauce holds court on its own. I also started buying the high-protein, high-fiber Barilla Pasta in the yellow box and it has become my preferred pasta. It doesn’t get mushy like some whole wheat and is a whole lot healthier than the regular pastas out there.
So surprise the kids this week with some “Shrek Sauce” I’m sure they’ll like it as much as mine do…
Pasta With Chicken and Spinach Sauce
1 lb Barilla Plus Multigrain Pasta (Rotini or Penne)
6 oz fresh baby spinach
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 Tbl. Majestic Garlic Basil flavor
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 store-bought rotissere chicken, cooked
Salt and Pepper to taste
Boil 1lb pasta according to box directions, reserving 1 cup of cooking water when you drain. Meanwhile, in a food processor pulse the baby spinach leaves, cream cheese and Majestic Garlic and season with salt and pepper. Shred chicken from bone and set aside.
In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta and spinach sauce, add enough reserved water to coat all the penne. Gently stir in the chicken, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.