If you've got time to boil some pasta - you've got time to make this dish! It's a quick and easy (not to mention healthy and delicious) week night meal that can be put together in a flash. This recipe serves 2 - feel free to double or triple to your needs.


4 oz. penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
5 ounces baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (any variety you prefer will work)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella ( I used pearls, but any will do )

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook as directed on the package. While the pasta cooks, add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and a heavy sprinkle of salt and pepper. The salt will help to bring the moisture out of the mushrooms and help you to create a "sauce." Once the mushrooms have softened slightly, add the garlic, and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the spinach, and cover the skillet with a lid. After 1-2 minutes, remove the lid and stir the now-wilted spinach. Add the tomatoes to warm them through and re-season with salt and pepper to taste. If at any time you think your dish looks dry - feel free to add a little of the pasta water. You don't want it to be floating, but you want everything wet. (In the 3 times I've made this dish, I've never added more than a few tablespoons of the pasta water.)

By now the pasta is a perfect al dente! Drain the pasta, and toss it into the skillet with the vegetable mixture. Mix thoroughly, allowing the pasta to soak up the flavors in the skillet. Right before plating, add the fresh mozzarella to "knock the chill off," as I like to say. Plate the pasta between 2 bowls and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Dig in!


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