Balsamic Penne Caprese with Spinach
Stay at home week 9. We officially have a two month old (on Sunday the 17th) and I cannot believe how time flies in a matter of a snap. I kind of wish time would go quicker so I can have family and friends over again, be close enough to hug again, enjoy a brunch cocktail at a restaurant again, but all in good time. This time spent at home with Rowen is something that not many new moms experience so I am eternally grateful to have this special bond with him, and more time with my husband too. Having more time at home also allows me to be in my kitchen more which I will never complain about.
I’m going to officially call this week pasta week, because I’ve made pasta twice already, including the dish I’m sharing on the blog today: penne pasta with tomato and mozzarella (caprese) tossed in a homemade balsamic sauce/glaze with sautéed spinach. As most recipes do, this one came to me in the shower. Don’t judge me. I think a lot in the shower and I had a vision for a lighter, vegetable-based, with a touch of sweetness pasta dinner that would be good with a variety of mix-ins. Caprese, which is simply tomato and mozzarella, is delicious on its own, so to throw it together with penne pasta, a homemade balsamic glaze, and add in some spinach, what’s not to love?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 pkg penne pasta ( I did NOT make this recipe gluten free but I imagine any gluten free pasta would do, Banza in particular or Jovial – found on Thrive Market – link to the site on the banner on the right!)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 pint fresh mozzarella balls “ciliegine” style (size of a cherry tomato)
- 1 tbsp butter or olive oil (to sauté the spinach)
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Dried Basil
For the pasta:
- Sauté the spinach on the stove with the butter and set aside (the spinach will wilt and become half the portion you put in).
- Take out the mozzarella balls from its container and put into a separate bowl to let them dry. Rinse and quarter the grape tomatoes – set aside as well.
- Prepare your pasta as described by the package and drain. Pour pasta into a large serving bowl.
For the balsamic:
- Pour the cup of balsamic into a small sauce pan on medium heat.
- Add in the coconut or brown sugar and maple syrup.
- Whisk together and bring to a boil, stir for 3-4 minutes until it becomes a little thicker.
- Turn off heat or set to a very low flame, be careful not to burn.
Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, spinach in with the pasta and mix. Pour the balsamic sauce/glaze all over and mix together. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried basil, and oregano. Serve with a side of garlic bread, a glass of Montepulciano, and a new show on Netflix and you’ve got yourself a great evening. NOMaste 🙂