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Penne Rosa – Noodles & Co. Copycat Recipe

5 from 1 reviews

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!

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 24 oz. your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 16 oz. penne pasta, cooked al dente
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Serve with:

Instructions

  1. Drizzle al dente pasta with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and set aside. 
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add onion along with a couple pinches of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and oregano, and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  5. Add pasta sauce, stir to combine.
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until the pasta sauce is heated through.
  7. Stir in fresh spinach.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  10. Add pasta and toss to coat evenly.
  11. Garnish with Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!

Notes

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 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!

Keywords: penne rosa sauce recipe, tomato cream sauce, creamy tomato pasta