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Remember how we were indoctrinated by Popeye to be "fit to the finish 'cause I eat my spinach"?   This creative way to include spinach in the diet was discovered on a package of feta cheese.  We slightly changed this extremely nutritious family favorite.

Penne Pasta with Spinach & Feta Cheese

8 oz. penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil (Note #1)
2 to 3 green onions (scallions)
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
10 oz. package of frozen, chopped spinach
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, OR 2 teaspoons dried basil

8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled fine (Note #2)
black pepper to taste

Put pasta on to cook as per package directions.  Defrost spinach in the microwave (Note #3) without actually cooking it.

Slice the green onions thinly.  Heat the olive oil in a non-stick large skillet or pan.  Sauté the onions over medium heat until wilted. 

While onions are cooking, squeeze all the extra liquid out of the spinach.     Add the tomatoes, basil, black pepper and spinach to the onions and sauté only until heated completely through.   

Drain the pasta well.  Combine with the sautéed veggies.  Add the cheese and continue to cook over low heat for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.

Serve as is or sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Note #1:  If you're on a nearly fat free diet, use 1 teaspoon of olive oil or cooking spray and sauté on very low heat.

Note #2:  If you don't care for the flavor of feta cheese, or need to further cut the fat, you may substitute part-skim or fat-free mozzarella with good results.

Note #3:  Instead of the microwave, you may defrost the spinach naturally in advance.



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