Tonight's dinner was no show-stopper, but was a good, healthy meal. Very simple ingredients come together in this pasta recipe for a nice big plate of pasta with very little fat and calories. It's nothing spectacular, so we won't make it again, but it was good. It also was very quick to make.
Penne with Caramelized Onions
Shape magazine, October 2006
You can caramelize the onions and toast the pine nuts ahead of time. Store onions in the refrigerator and pine nuts in an airtight container until ready to serve.
1 oz pine nuts (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb chopped fresh or frozen spinach
12 oz frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
1-2 heaping Tbsp minced or crushed garlic
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 lb small penne pasta
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes or until golden and aromatic, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Set aside.
Place a deep large skillet or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Add the salt to the onions and saute for 5 minutes longer, until the onions are very soft.
Stir in the spinach (if using frozen, defrost, thoroughly drain, and squeeze out all the water first), artichoke hearts, garlic, and broth, and heat to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer gently while the pasta cooks. Cook the pasta until just tender. Drain well, and transfer to the skillet. Stir and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Serve topped with black pepper, red pepper, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.
Yield: 4 servings