Monday, October 20, 2008

VeganMoFo: Garlicky Penne with Baby Spinach (and Garlic)

Not a typo in the name of this dish, more like a heads up. This is some more garlicky penne. Just what I wanted for watching all my favorite vampire movies. 30 Days of Night, anyone? I love the line, "Mr. and Mrs. Sheriff. So sweet. So helpless against what is coming." Ultra creepy.

This pasta would make Van Helsing, Buffy, or any other vampire slayer proud. Garlic has got your back three different ways. With garlic simmered in vegetable broth, sauteed with crushed red pepper flakes, and minced raw with fresh rosemary, vampires don't stand a chance. Just make sure your sweetie eats a big bowl of this penne too, lest he or she feel somewhat overwhelmed by your garlicky aroma.

Garlicky Penne with Baby Spinach (and Garlic)
Adapted from Epicurious

1 1/2 medium heads of garlic, cloves peeled
2 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup roasted bell peppers, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
10 ounces baby spinach
8-9 ounces whole wheat penne (depending on the vegetable to pasta ratio you prefer)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ( or less if you prefer it milder)
15 ounce can garbanzos, rinsed and drained
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
toasted pinenuts to garnish, optional

Put aside 6 cloves of garlic. Put remaining cloves and the vegetable broth in a covered pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. Drain garlic in a sieve, saving the broth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the garlic broth for this recipe, and store the rest of the broth in the refrigerator for another use.

Blend cooked garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of reserved broth, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender.

Mince the rosemary with 2 cloves of the garlic. Combine with 1 teaspoon of salt. Put in a large bowl with the spinach.

Cook the whole wheat penne according to the package. Drain.

To make the sauce, mince the remaining 4 cloves garlic. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and saute garlic with the crushed red pepper flakes for a minute. Add the roasted red pepper and saute for about 3 more minutes. Add garbanzos and garlic puree from the blender. Bring to a simmer. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Add penne, sauce, and balsamic vinegar to large bowl with spinach and rosemary-garlic mixture. Stir to combine. The hot, slightly wet penne will wilt the baby spinach just a little, but leave it still somewhat fresh.


  1. ohh, i love garlic soooo much! and i super love this pasta, Lisa! it sounds fantatical - and it's got all my favorites in it, too! spinach, garlic, chickpeas, bell peppers and balsamic. mmmmmmmm! thanks for another rock'n recipe! (and it looks so beautiful!)

  2. That is an awesome recipe!
    I could never be a vampire. I love garlic too much!

  3. ah this looks so yummy! I'm marking this for later yummies.

  4. Ooooh that looks amazing. The photo is awesome and I will have to try this when I plan on not going out on a date after ... unless I cook it for someone. Awesome looking recipe.

  5. Hey hey,..:))

    Pasta and PINE NUTS...!!!!!! OHH SO DELISH!!!!! :-))) wonderful creation!!

    Well...I'd LOVE to see a comment from you on my new blog :))) pls take a look :))

    Hope for your visit !! :))

    Have a nice time!!

  6. Oooh that looks GORGEOUS!!!
    I eat sooo much garlic. LOVE IT!

  7. mm... don't really think you can go wrong with rosemary and garlic!! YUMMY!

  8. Only you can make me want to eat garlic, with a gorgeous picture like that! Van Helsing would indeed be proud! :)

  9. 3 times the garlic means 3 times the fun!!! This recipe sounds delicious. It's a good thing I don't have a one to scare away with garlic breath! But penne is my favorite type of noodle. :) Whole wheat = even better!

  10. YUM
    do you notice the secret marriage between kale and chickpeas? Maybe its the marriage of Vegan and garbanzo.. and how they all include kale and quinoa.. and now I am not making sense.. but this recipe makes sense and I cant wait to make it.. esp cause I have a ton of kale and LOVE it.
    (side note: when I was in food prep I thought kale was just a decoration.. )

  11. That looks mouth-watering good. I didn't go vegan for health reasons, but vampire protection is a nice side benefit.

  12. MMMM. Garlic and I go waaaayyy back. We're pretty much lovers.

  13. This looks sooooo good! you can never have too much garlic.

  14. The pasta looks awesome! I love garlic and pasta!!

  15. This sounds so good - pine nuts and spinach are two of my favorite things, and well, pasta is always a good idea!

  16. yumm!! i am a garlic freak!! :D i love garlic in all forms. this looks great !

  17. I love baby spinach! I highly prefer it to adult spinach. ;-)

    Great looking pasta dish. Yum!

  18. This looks so good! I'll have to try it.

  19. Yay for garlic!

    This pasta sounds scrumptious...

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