Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spinach Penne with Sauteed Greens & Scallion Cream Sauce

This scallion cream sauce is put together in a snap and pairs great with dark leafy greens. Always trying to get more greens into my diet, this meal makes it easy to cram in tons and enjoy every bite.

Hearty spinach penne pasta tossed with scallions, garlic and white beans blended into a smooth and creamy sauce, topped with garlicky swiss chard, arugula and toasted sunflower seeds.

Scallion Cream Sauce
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped, reserve 1 tbl for garnish
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
3 tbl plain almond milk
salt and pepper

Saute the scallions and garlic in olive oil for 4-5 minutes until the scallions start to soften. Add the beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes more.
Transfer to a blender and add the cream cheese and almond milk. Blend for 2-3 minutes until completely creamy. Taste and season.

Spinach Penne with Sauteed Greens
serves 3
6 oz spinach penne
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 head green chard plus stems, roughly chopped
3 cups arugula
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbl toasted sunflower seeds

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the penne. Cook for 12 minutes or until al dente. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the greens.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the chard and arugula. Toss to coat in oil. Once the greens have wilted down, add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes. Add the white wine vinegar and continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Taste and season more if necessary.
Drain the pasta, reserving 2 tbl of pasta water.
Toss the scallion cream sauce into the pasta, along with the pasta water. Plate and top with sauteed greens, a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and the remaining scallions from the sauce to garnish.

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