Sometimes you just want a big bowl of pasta, creamy, cheesy pasta. And no, spiralized courgettes, although they are amazing, they are not gonna cut it today. I need pasta and I believe that if you have a craving you should just give in to that craving, otherwise it will haunt you and who wants that? As long as it’s not every day right? 😉
I know that this recipe is not as healthy as some of the other recipes on the blog but you know what it is mostly healthy. There’s the whole wheat pasta, a lot better for you than the white stuff, and then there’s the veggies, spinach, really good for you, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, see it’s not that bad! The mascarpone is the least healthy thing in this dish, but it does make this recipe, and hey, if you are having a cheat day then this is perfect.
This recipe is a great way to sneak some good stuff into the kiddos, with the creamy tasty sauce they won’t even notice if you swap in some whole wheat pasta, and add some good for them spinach winner. I’ve been making this recipe for about 4 years now and it is a family favorite, especially with my little girl. So if you are looking for a recipe to take your pasta dishes up a level this is for you. It would also make a great Meat Free Monday meal for the whole family.
Serves: 4, Time: 30 Mins
350g Whole Wheat Penne
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Large Tbs of Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
150g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
1oog Sun-dried Tomatoes, sliced
100g Young Spinach, washed
250g Mascarpone Cheese
25g Parmesan Cheese, grated (plus extra for serving)
A good pinch of Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
- Toast the pine nuts by heating them in a small pan over a medium heat. Toss them gently so the are nice and brown all over. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for about 12 minutes.
- In a large skillet heat the oil, then add the mushrooms, thyme and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, stir well then add the Mascarpone, Parmesan and 3 tablespoons of water from the pasta, season and stir well.
- Add the spinach and stir gently until it is wilted.
- When the pasta is cooked add it the skillet, mix until all the pasta is coated in the sauce.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Notes: If you want you can get rid of the excess oil on the sun-dried tomatoes, I do this by scraping the tomatoes with the back of a knife. Regular or gluten free pasta can be substituted, just follow the cooking instructions as per the packet.