If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That’s what we have to say about the tried-and-true combination of spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, which is then folded into a creamy sauce with stringy and cheesy mozzarella. This bowl of pasta brings flavour, warmth and a touch of summer to your dinner table!
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto(ContainsMilk/Lait, Tree Nut/Noix)
Red Onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper*
Preheat your broiler to high (to broil garlic ciabatta). Start prepping when the oven comes up to temperature!
Wash and dry all produce.* In a large pot, add 10 cups water and 2 tsp salt. (NOTE: Use same for 4 ppl.) Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, roughly chop tomato. Cut mozzarella into 1/2-inch pieces, then season with salt and pepper. Peel, then mince or grate garlic.
To the boiling water, add penne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10-12 min. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together half the garlic, half the Italian seasoning and 2 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl). Add mozzarella pieces and gently stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When penne is tender, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water (dbl for 4 ppl). Drain penne then return to the same pot, off heat.
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl), then onions. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 3-4 min. Add tomato paste, remaining Italian seasoning and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1-2 min. Stir in pesto, then remove from the heat.
While aromatics cook, halve buns. On a baking sheet, arrange cut-side up and divide mozzarella-oil mixture between each. Broil in middle of oven, until golden-brown and mozzarella melts, 2-3 min. (TIP: Keep an eye on your bun so that it does not burn!)
To the penne, add pesto mixture, spinach, tomato, reserved pasta water and half the Parmesan. Stir together, until spinach wilts and sauce comes together, 1-2 min.
Cut garlic-mozzarella ciabatta in half. Divide pasta between plates and sprinkle over remaining Parmesan. Serve with ciabatta halves.