Saturday, January 14, 2012

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta [Menu]

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta (Header)

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is, of course, to attempt to lose some unwanted pounds. So very predictable, I know! Did I say that last year and the year before? Oh, yes. But I'm actually making strides this year to make that happen, and I've been successful so far. One of the (many) life changes that goes along with that is not eating out as much. In conjunction with trying to eat better, I've had to find some curious, round-about craving-quenchers.

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta

I was desperate for a creamy pasta dish last week, but I couldn't find anything a) under 600 calories or b) pescetarian (per my new eating habits since October) until I stumbled upon this in a Christmas gift from my mother. Matt, a reformed picky-eater and a supportive husband missing his carbs, was very excited about this meal, and it's been slipped into our "under 30 minute favorite" card box.

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta

This is fantastic as a quick (cost effective) week-night meal for anyone out there trying to watch their waistband. And, while it's not a decadent alfredo, it should manage to keep your taste-buds happy. I hope you enjoy it!

Recipe Ahead!

Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta
Adapted from Vegetarian: A Collection of Over 100 Essential Recipes by Parragon Publishing

  • 10.5 oz / 300 g. dried gluten-free penne or pasta of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 9 oz / 250 g. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 9 fl oz / 275 ml / scant 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 7 oz / 200 g. frozen spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper
Serves: 4

 In a large pot of lightly salted water, boil your pasta of choice according to the package directions. After pasta is done, drain and reserve 6 fl oz (175 ml) or 3/4 cup of liquid.

While the pasta is boiling, heat the oil in a large (and I do mean "large" - as all the pasta will eventually find its home here), heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently, for about 8 - 10 minutes until they start to brown and crisp (if using canned mushrooms, they will deepen in color and begin to curl and crackle but they won't necessarily turn crisp unless they're very well drained/dried). After the mushrooms have reached this point, add in the oregano, stock, and lemon juice. Cook for around 10 - 12 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half. At this point, stir in the cream cheese and spinach and cook over medium-low heat for 3 - 5 minutes.

Add the reserved liquid into the sauce and then add in the (drained) pasta. Toss to coat well in the sauce and heat through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices. Serve!


Nutritional Information (1 serving)
Analyzed using the Spark Recipe Calculator and Point Plus Calculator 

Calories: 446
Total Fat: 17g
Total Carbs: 57g
Protein: 18.5g
Fiber: 8g
Estimated WW Value:  12 Points(+)

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