This past weekend, I visited my wonderful friends who are up in Chapel Hill for the summer. It was a great weekend that included a shopping trip with some lovely girlfriends (holler atcha Hannah and Bushman), Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt (THE BEST), and a trip to the driving range with my boyfriend. I packed a lot into a couple of days and it made me all the more excited to get back to school for a new semester!
|God Bless Sutton's Drug Store.|
In order to not feel TOTALLY guilty about my food consumption AND to save money (I'm a broke college student 4 realz), I brought up a pasta bake so that one of my weekend meals would be taken care of.
This colorful dish is filled with tons of fresh spinach, bell pepper, garlic, and tomatoes, and it's all topped with lots of smoked gouda...YUM. It's healthy and delicious all in one. And more importantly for many, it's super easy to make and is a great meal to throw together in a pinch and serve alongside a simple salad.
When my mom found this recipe in our local newspaper, it quickly became a family favorite. Try it out yourself and I am sure you won't be disappointed!
Spinach & Smoked Gouda Penne Bake
Recipe from The Charlotte Observer
- 2 tbsp. (approx.) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small/medium yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 onion, finely chopped
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
- 1 (6 oz.) bag washed baby spinach
- 1 (12-16 oz.) box penne pasta
- 8 oz. smoked gouda cheese, shredded
- Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions, drain, and keep warm.
- Prepare 13x9 lightly greased glass casserole dish and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a deep skillet pour in the olive oil (approximately 2 tablespoons or 2 turns of the skillet) and turn on medium-high heat.
- Add the onion to the skillet and allow to cook for about two minutes, constantly stirring. Next, add the minced garlic and again, allow to cook for about two more minutes, stirring. Add in the yellow pepper, repeating the same steps to cook until the vegetables are softened.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low-medium and cook vegetable mixture together for about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add spinach, a little bit at a time, allowing to wilt. Add vegetable mixture to the cooked pasta, and toss with 1/2 of the shredded gouda cheese.
- Pour pasta concoction into greased casserole dish and sprinkle remaining shredded gouda over the top.
- Cook in prepared oven for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted - ENJOY!