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Monday, February 24, 2014

Grilled Pepper and Onion Pasta with Spinach

In honor of Meatless Monday this is a wonderful healthy meatless dish. Of course if you don't want it meatless, you could easily add chicken or steak or fish to it... such a versatile dish! I had written rigatoni pasta on the grocery list and Eric came home with rotini pasta by mistake, obviously very similar. I'm sure it doesn't really matter but next time I'll use rigatoni to see. I upped the spinach to try to have about as much spinach as pasta to even out the carbs :)

Grilled Pepper and Onion Pasta with Spinach
Adapted from Real Simple
Serves 4-5 as a main dish or more if you add chicken or eat it as a side dish

- 12oz box of rigatoni or rotini pasta (or whatever pasta you like)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ground pepper to taste
- 2 medium red onions, sliced into rings
- 2 large red peppers, chopped into bite size pieces
- 8oz baby spinach leaves (we used a little more than half of a bag that was 15oz)
- 1 cup of fresh grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- garlic powder to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Combine red peppers, red onions, olive oil and ground pepper in large bowl and mix. Season pasta water with salt and cook pasta according to directions. You will need to reserve 1-1 1/2 cups of pasta water when it is done.

Meanwhile, heat grill or grill pan on medium heat and pour the bowl of peppers/onions onto the pan. Grill for about 10 minutes or until there are nice grill marks and charred bits. You need to keep an eye on them and turn pretty frequently. This step totally reminded me of the smell fajitas have when they are brought out at a restaurant. Make sure the onions are grilled and softened to your liking (less grilled/crisper onions will be more potent so I like mine well grilled). When vegetables are nice a grilled, pour them onto a cutting board to give some of the bigger onion rings a chop until everything is bite size.

After pasta is done, return it and a cup of the reserved pasta water to the pot. Add the grilled veggies, spinach leaves, 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese(the rest of the parm is used for topping), garlic powder, ground pepper and crushed red pepper (if desired). Mix well and add more pasta water if needed and adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve with basil and parmesan cheese on top.

ready to be grilled

mixing the components

I think this would also be delicious with grilled chicken or steak. Let me know what you think if you try it!

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