If you ask me to pick a favourite from my own catalogue of trusty pasta recipes when it comes to quick dinner ideas, I would go for this Creamy Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Pasta. Why? It’s quick to make, so easy that I can pretty much just operate on auto-pilot and be able to deliver a presentable dinner. Secondly, it’s a winning flavour combo (unless you hate sun-dried tomatoes). I like to think of it as a twist of classic Mediterranean flavour with a little extra heartiness and a little kick of spice. It’s definitely one recipe to keep on the books. I have definitely whipped this recipe up a couple of times when I got friends over last-minute for dinner and it’s a foolproof dish to put on the dining table.
Sun-dried tomatoes are like a dream in pasta dishes. Its intense and tarty flavours work like magic, whether it be in a pasta salad or a hearty creamy one like this. With just a few more pantry ingredients, you can create some superb flavours. Moreover, they are known to carry a lot of vitamins and antioxidants – definitely a solid reason to incorporate more of them in your cooking!
How to make Spinach Sun-Dried Tomatoes Pasta
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – oil-packed
- Pasta – I usually use Penne, Rigatoni, or sometimes Fusili. But any pasta of your choice work
- Garlic – the aromatics
- Red Chilli Flakes (optional) – to add a little kick of heat
- Paprika, Salt, Black Pepper – spice & seasoning
- Chicken Broth – to deglaze. Use vegetable broth if you’re trying to keep the recipe vegetarian
- Baby Spinach
- Double Cream
- Olive Oil – or use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes for an extra flavour boost! Regular cooking oil also works
- Butter – to silken up the sauce
(1) Oil-packed vs Dried Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes typically come in two forms – either oil-packed or dried. The ones you can get at supermarkets (the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s) are usually oil-packed in a jar. It doesn’t matter which type you use. If you are using dried ones, you will have to soak them beforehand until they’re softened.
Most typically, sun-dried tomatoes are used in salads or as antipasti. Pasta would come in second, whether it be a light Mediterranean pasta salad or a pasta dish. You can also expect sun-dried tomatoes to be used as a flavour booster for countless sauces, etc.
(2) Reserving Pasta Water
Reserving pasta water is key to every pasta dish. The pasta water lends a salty flavour edge to the sauce, helps to thicken up the sauce, and also binds the sauce with the pasta. The result is a luscious sauce that’s properly coated over each pasta noodle and really makes a difference.
(3) Don’t Skip the Final Butter
Furthering the point above for reserving pasta water, butter also helps to bind the sauce with the pasta. Additionally, butter also acts as an emulsifier and helps you achieve a silky and velvety texture with the pasta sauce.
Looking for more pasta recipe inspo? Check these out too:
Spinach Sun-Dried Tomatoes Pasta
- 200 g Pasta Penne / Fusili
- 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 2-3 Red Chillies (optional) finely chopped
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 80 g Sun-Dried Tomatoes (oil-packed) drained of oil
- 80-100 g Baby Spinach
- ¼ cup Chicken Broth
- ½ cup Double Cream
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and season generously with salt. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water.200 g Pasta
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute garlic and red chillies (if using) for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.3 cloves Garlic, 2-3 Red Chillies (optional), 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Add in sun-dried tomatoes and saute for a minute. Season with paprika, salt & pepper.1 tsp Paprika, Salt & Pepper, 80 g Sun-Dried Tomatoes (oil-packed)
- Stir in chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Allow to bubble for a few minutes until slightly reduced.¼ cup Chicken Broth
- Toss in baby spinach and cook until the leaves start to wilt.80-100 g Baby Spinach
- Turn to medium/medium-low heat and stir in the double cream. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.½ cup Double Cream
- Add in cooked pasta, along with the reserved pasta water, and also add the butter. Toss well until thoroughly mixed and the butter has melted. Serve immediately.1 tbsp Butter
- The red chillies are completely optional. I personally like to add a kick of spice and fresh red chillies work well in the recipe.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are usually sold oil-packed in jars at supermarkets. If you happen to have purchased a dried package, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in water for 30 minutes until softened before use.
- Adding butter and the reserved pasta water helps the sauce to bind with the pasta and also makes the sauce extra silky to taste.
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Such a quick but delicious dish to make for dinner! Didn’t add any chillies but it’s still very flavourful
Thank you so much for your lovely comment! So glad you enjoyed, the sun-dried tomatoes just add so much flavour, right? 🙂