I have to tell you, this is one of the best meals i have made unplanned. I brought home a jar of La Rosa’s pasta sauce from my visit home and I was craving it, so I went to the pantry and refrigerator and put together this lovely meal. When I worked at Buca Di Beppo, I loved the dishes they served with peas in them, so I grabbed a can of sweet peas I had in the pantry. I also grabbed some spinach, parmigiana, and Panko bread crumbs. (Yes, bread crumbs on top of pasta, I am a carb lover and I usually embrace it!) If you are watching your carbs, you can obviously leave those out, but they are put in the oven on broil and give this dish the perfect crunch 🙂
Also, I bought this pasta at Fresh Market, it was filled with pesto and mixed cheeses, I would suggest buying a more authentic box you see in your grocery store, believe me it is worth the extra buck or two!
Start off by turning your oven on HI broil. Next begin boiling your water for the pasta. I used a medium sized pot. Next, take a skillet and drizzle olive oil, heat on medium until warm. While the oil is warming, rinse a handful or two of fresh spinach. Place paper towels to pat dry. Put in the skillet and add salt, pepper, and minced garlic (I used dried); stir constantly until spinach is wilted through, take off the skillet and put on a plate with paper towels to soak the extra oil.
Still on medium heat, take your skillet and pour in your favorite pasta sauce, add a drained can of sweet peas, your spinach and parmigiana (I used about a cup). Mix well, bring to a slight bubble and turn the heat on low, mix and let sit for 5 minutes or until pasta is done ( this will let all of the flavors come together).
By this time your water should be boiling. Pour your pasta in and cook via package directions. Once it is cooked, drain thoroughly (nobody likes watery pasta!!) Pour your drained pasta back into the pot you used to boil it in. Take your pasta sauce mixture and pour that into the pasta pot. Stir gently (you want to be careful not to break open the pasta) Once evenly mixed, take a round glass baking dish and pour in. Take about a cup of Panko breadcrumbs and place into a medium sized bowl. Add a half cup of parmigiana, pepper, Italian seasoning, and olive oil (I would suggest a drizzle over top, just enough to lightly cover the crumbs). Mix well. Add the Panko mixture to the top of your pasta evenly. Place on the top most rack of your oven, turn on the light to be sure you don’t burn the crumbs! The broil is quick, so be sure to turn the dish every minute or two to get an even browning. This should only take 3 minutes or so to brown.
Serve with a glass of wine (or milk for the kids) and enjoy!!!