Recently I asked on Facebook what kinds of recipes you were looking for and the response was “easy weeknight meals that my kid will eat.” Now, when I think of easy weeknight meals, I tend to think about meals I have made ahead of time (usually ready & waiting in the freezer), crock pot meals, and quick pastas. You could make a big ole batch of my oven-baked meatballs, freeze some, and have them ready to go for a last minute meal (serve over pasta or as a meatball sub), try out our #1 viewed recipe for crock pot beer can chicken (seriously…it has over 13,000 views), or go the pasta route with my very very favorite spicy (but only as spicy as you make it) vodka pasta. All are serious crowd pleasers at our house!
Or…you can try one of Buddy’s latest favorites. Nearly every day at dinner time for two weeks he asked me if we were having “da white pasta wit da finach.” Translation…Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta. Who am I to say no (but why did it take me 2 weeks to get it on the meal plan?!) so I whipped up a batch in no time last night and wanted to share it with you. Takes about 15 minutes…maybe 20 if you have to clean & chop your mushrooms. I bought pre-sliced to save some time.
Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta
12 oz. pasta (I like bowtie but any shape will work.)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (1/2-1 tsp of the preminced stuff)
onion powder, to taste (sometimes I use frozen chopped onion but usually I just go with onion powder)
pepper, to taste
2 cups half & half (sometimes I use heavy cream…gasp)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
2 cups baby spinach
optional–grilled chicken breasts
Start pasta & cook to al dente while making sauce. Melt butter in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute for several minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add cream andbring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring often, but no need to stir continuously.
Add half of the parmesan cheese to thicken sauce slightly, stir well. Toss spinach on top of cream sauce, fold into sauce and turn off heat.
Drain pasta and add to sauce. Add remaining half cup of cheese. Add more fresh pepper if desired. Stir to combine. If it still seems a bit on the runny side you can sprinkle on a little more cheese or allow to sit while you slice up some nice crusty bread &/or throw together a quick salad.
Voila! Fifteen minutes to dinner perfection. Enjoy!!