Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Grape Tomato and Basil Pasta

Courtney came home from soccer practice a few weeks ago and announced that she NEEDED pasta!  This was the very beginning of her soccer season and the coach had been preaching the benefits of loading up on pasta, the night before a big game.   She was absolutely insistent that she was going to need to eat pasta on Thursday night, the night before her very first varsity game, so she could be at her best on game day.  It was a pretty simple request really.  (If you put compare it to most of the requests that I get from my teenagers these days.)  The only problem was, the night before her first big soccer game, we were going to be at Ryan's first baseball game of the season.  Spaghetti and meatballs - Not really a practical dinner to pack up and take to the field.  What was I to do?

I decided to go a little less traditional with my pasta dinner and hope for the best.  (Let's face it, my family isn't always on board with non-traditional meals.)  I took my inspiration from a recipe that I saw in the March issue of Cooking Light magazine.  I wanted a simple pasta dish that would be delicious even at room temperature.  This pasta dish has all the essentials of a pre-game meal: carbohydrates, vegetables, protein and lots of fresh flavor. 

Grape Tomato and Basil Pasta
1/2 pound whole grain penne pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 cup torn basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.  Drain. 

Heat oil in skillet.  Add garlic and red pepper.

Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper.  Cook until tomatoes soften.

Add pasta and reserved water.  Cook 2 minutes.

Stir in basil and spinach.

Top with cheese.

 I packed mine up into some portable containers and off to the game I went. 

After all the preparation, the baseball game ended up being cancelled and we ate the pasta at home anyway. 

As for Courtney's first varsity soccer game - they won!


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