Red Pepper, Olive and Spinach Pasta

(Picture by Julia's Album) 

Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings) 

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 sliced red pepper
½ cup organic vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 olives, pitted and chopped
4 cups of baby spinach
¼ cup torn basil leaves
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving a ½ cup of water.
Heat a large skillet with medium heat and add oil to the pan, swirling to coat the bottom. Add red pepper and garlic to the oil and sauté for 30 seconds. Add peppers, broth, salt, black pepper and olives, cook for six minutes or until peppers soften, stirring occasionally. Add the pasta and reserved water to the pan, simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and basil, cook for 2 minutes or until the greens wilt. Divide the pasta evenly into four bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

This pasta dish is quick, easy and a healthy option. It only has 300 calories per serving and is a healthy option with vegetables and greens in it. This in total takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook which is relatively quick when making a meal. Although this has a lengthy list of ingredients, about half of the items are things you can find inside your kitchen. This is a dish that you can play around with too, adding more vegetables such as tomatoes to the recipe. It is a great vegetarian option but also something that can easily add grilled chicken to the mix. My family loves meat and so I made grilled chicken on the side, and it paired perfectly. This is excellent cooking for a couple people and the leftovers taste as good as when it was made the first time!

 - By Ally Lowery, Dreissig Apparel Inc.

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