Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add asparagus and bell pepper to pan; drain.
Combine milk and spinach dip in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Combine pasta mixture, spinach mixture, salt, and tomatoes in a large bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle with basil, pine nuts, and cheese.
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I used whole wheat rotini for this, and subbed cut-up zucchini instead of the asparagus, as it's not in season right now. I cooked the zucchini and the bell pepper in the microwave to reduce the loss of nutrients that happens when cooking in water; it took 4 mins on high for the zucchini and 3 mins on high for the peppers. This turned out fantastic! My husband adored it, and I loved being able to use lots of fresh, local produce. The pine nuts totally make this meal, so don't skip them!
This dish came together quickly and easily. It was tasty and satisfying. I made the recipe as written, except that I used whole wheat fusilli pasta instead of rotini. My husband devoured it, and he's not a huge fan of healthy cooking. I reheated the leftovers for lunch - it wasn't quite as good the next day, but it was still better than making something from scratch.
I found it to be a very tasty and pretty entree! I absolutely loved it even as a leftover for lunch the next day. My husband is not a big fan of pasta dishes but he raved. I immediately scanned and shared with numerous friends and family. This will be a recipe I will call upon many times to come!!!
My family devoured this - especially my thirteen year old who is "so tired" of pasta. She loved this and asked me to make it again. It was very easy to make and most importantly, took little time. I really appreciate these shortcut recipes and that this is vegetarian. Thank you!