Our Test Kitchen tossed tender tube pasta with fresh spinach, onion, blue cheese and chicken broth to create this aromatic entree. A sprinkling of toasted honey pecans tops it all with a touch of sweetness.
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
- 12 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 3 cups torn fresh spinach
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese, divided
- Line a baking sheet with foil; coat well with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine pecans and honey; spread over prepared pan. Bake at 300° for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, combine the sugar, oil and vinegar; add onion. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until onion begins to caramelize.
- In a saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions. Remove pecans from the oven; set aside and keep warm. Add the spinach, 1/4 cup broth, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the onion mixture; cook 5 minutes longer. drain pasta; add onion mixture and toss.
- In the same skillet, combine 2/3 cup blue cheese and remaining broth. Cook over medium heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Pour over pasta; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with pecans and remaining blue cheese. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Creamy Spinach Pasta in Light & Tasty December/January 2003, p45
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