Penne with Tomatoes and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Loaded with grape tomatoes that literally burst with sweetness, this pasta dish is a surefire kid pleaser. And with a surprisingly simple recipe, this dish is a good one to get the kids involved in. And once it's on the table, you'll feel good knowing they're gobbling up tomatoes and red bell peppers, which are chock full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
What You Need:
- 1 recipe Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
- 12 ounces gluten free penne pasta or other short pasta (brown rice pasta works well)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces sweet grape tomatoes
- ½ sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups spinach, optional
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (optional)
- ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
What You Do:
- Prepare the red pepper pesto and set aside.
- Cook the pasta al dente as directed on the package.
- In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the tomatoes and cover with a lid. Cook until they begin to soften and pop, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook for about a minute.
- Add the spinach, if using, and sauté until the leaves begin to wilt.
- Stir in the red pepper pesto and cook until the pesto just begins to bubble. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked pasta and toss well. Cook another minute, just until the pasta is heated through.
- Plate and enjoy! For a cheesier baked version, pour the pasta into a casserole dish and top with mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes until the cheeses are melted and bubbly.
- Serve as a main or side dish.
For non-vegetarians, boost the flavor and heartiness by stirring in a can of oil-packed tuna before serving.
Did You Know?
Lycopene, found in both tomatoes and bell peppers, is thought to help protect against cancer and heart disease.