Triple Tomato Pasta With Spinach and White Beans

triple tomato pasta

Molly Cleary 

Total Time 30 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 20 min
Servings 4

Tomatoes get their red color from lycopene, an antioxidant that may help to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cooking tomatoes actually helps to increase lycopene content, therefore potentially boosting its disease-fighting power.

In addition to lycopene, this recipe also provides great nutritional benefits from the cannellini beans. These beans are full of fiber, at 6 grams per half cup serving. They are also one of the highest potassium beans out there, a micronutrient and electrolyte that can help lower blood pressure.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 can low sodium cannellini beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package baby spinach
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • ¼ cup sliced/slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon minced)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Preparation

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until mostly smooth; some small chunks are okay. You may need to a litter water to thin, but do not add more than a few tablespoons since the sauce is meant to be thick.
  3. Drain and rinse cannellini beans.
  4. Add olive oil to a pan and heat to medium high. Add baby spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.
  1. Combine the pasta, beans, spinach, and tomatoes into one large pot. Add the pesto and mix well.
  2. Divide into 4 bowls and serve.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you cannot find sun-dried tomatoes in oil, then you can substitute ¾ cup bagged sun-dried tomatoes with ¼ cup olive oil. It works best if tomatoes are soaked in the oil for at least an hour.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Leftover pesto tastes delicious as a sandwich spread. It also freezes well.

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