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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Quick and Easy: Pasta with Spinach, Beans and Cheese

Associated Press

Pasta with spinach, beans and cheese gives diners plenty of flavor and nutrition with a low fat content. Its combination of ingredients is balanced, the pasta and beans topped up with vegetables and low-fat cheese.

It's a practical cool-weather dish to make at short notice, since you'll probably find you have some of the ingredients already in the larder. Making it the centerpiece of a hot meal will take little advance preparation.

  • 8 ounces farfale (bowtie) or penne pasta
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced (about 1fl cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can great northern or any other white beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach (6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded or small-cubed part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan or asiago cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, lightly grease a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Heat over medium-high heat; when hot, add tomatoes and garlic. Cook and stir about 2 minutes, or until tomatoes are slightly soft. Stir in beans, broth and spinach. Cook until spinach just wilts, stirring constantly. Drain pasta well and add to skillet. Stir in cheeses, and season with freshly ground pepper. Toss lightly and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 350 cal., 4 g fat, 465 mg calcium.