This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This quick and easy Penne Rosa pasta dish comes together in just 20 minutes with only 10 ingredients. Al dente penne pasta is tossed in a light tomato cream sauce with fresh baby spinach, then garnished with grated Parmesan, and red pepper flakes for a little kick!
You'll Love This
- It is SO quick and easy! Your favorite storebought spaghetti sauce (or my quick and easy homemade version) makes this creamy sauce a reality in just 5 minutes. You can even cook the noodles a day or two ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to put everything together. That means you can have dinner on the table in about 5-10 minutes total!
- It doesn't require any fancy kitchen tools or cooking skills! Dicing the onion and slicing the garlic is the only real prep work required for this penne rosa. Other than that, you're just stirring sauce together and tossing it with pasta. You can totally make this easy weeknight dinner, whether you're a novice home cook or super comfortable in the kitchen.
- It's perfect for date night or an easy family dinner! My favorite date night meal is always pasta. Whether it's Creamy Pesto Linguine, Ravioli with Peas, or a Greek Pasta Bake. If I'm being honest, pasta is probably just my most favorite meal ever. There's just something special about enjoying al dente noodles tossed in a silky smooth sauce with someone you love. However, it's such a simple meal and a total family favorite that you won't mind throwing it together on a busy weeknight too! Whenever you choose to enjoy it, just make sure you serve it with my super easy homemade garlic bread too!
Saute onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Then add garlic and oregano and saute for another minute.
Add your favorite pasta sauce.
Stir to combine and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until the pasta sauce is heated through.
Stir in fresh spinach.
Add heavy cream and stir to combine.
Add cooked penne pasta and toss to coat evenly.
Garnish with Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley. Serve with easy homemade garlic bread and enjoy!
- Salt pasta water. I recommend adding 2-4 tablespoons of Kosher salt to the pot of boiling water before adding the uncooked pasta. This is your first chance to season the pasta and it will make a HUGE difference in the overall flavor of the dish.
- Cook noodles just until al dente and not a moment longer. If the recommended cooking time is 9-11 minutes, I set my timer for 8 minutes and then start carefully tasting the pasta until it is tender and cooked through, but still has a toothsome bite.
- Toss cooked noodles in olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. This is going to help prevent the noodles from sticking together and it also adds a little extra flavor to the dish.
- You might be wondering where the spice is?!? If you're familiar with Noodles & Company's version of this dish, you know that their version has a little kick of heat. While my husband LOVES spicy food, my daughter and I are total wimps. So I chose to leave the spice out of this recipe to make it more family-friendly. My husband likes to add red pepper flakes or a couple pinches of cayenne pepper to his plate to make a little spicier. If your whole family likes it spicy, feel free to add red pepper flakes or cayenne to the whole dish - otherwise, just serve it on the side and let everyone add their own!
- If you want to bulk this penne rosa up a bit with more veggies, sauteed mushrooms and diced tomatoes would be a great addition. The original version served at Noodles & Company includes both of those, but I chose to keep this recipe simple with just fresh spinach.
- Sliced grilled chicken or cooked crumbled sausage would both be great additions to this dish if you're not looking for a vegetarian dinner. Spicy turkey sausage is one of our family's favorite things to add. It's got just enough spice for my husband, but not too much for me!
Family Favorite Pastas
- Easy Greek Pasta Bake
- Quick Baked Brie Mac & Cheese
- Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta
- Ravioli with Peas & Asparagus
- No Boil Baked Rigatoni
- Garlic Butter Noodles