Here's an easy spinach pasta dish that is quick to put together and makes a simple but satisfying supper. I've also added mushrooms here just because I can't resist that spinach-mushrooms-pasta combo but if you don't feel the same, you can leave them out. The dish is creamy but light which is how I like it, but you can easily increase the amount of cream cheese here if you want to make it richer.
200g/7oz of short pasta - I've used lumaconi here which is a large "snail-shell" shape
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3½ cups/8 ounces / 250g of sliced mushrooms
8 ounces/ about 8 cups/ 250g trimmed and washed fresh spinach leaves
½ cup / 120g of low fat cream cheese or ricotta
3 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan or similar vegetarian cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until just al dente. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large pan or skillet over a low to medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Toss in the mushrooms and cook gently for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the spinach leaves. You may need to do this gradually to fit all of the spinach in your pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes. There will probably be a lot of excess liquid in the pan at this stage. If there is, turn the heat up for a minute or two to allow the liquid to evaporate.
Stir in the cooked pasta and cream cheese, mixing well to combine, then remove from the heat and sprinkle in half of the parmesan. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.
A crisp green salad is a good accompaniment.