Penne Pasta with Spinach and Smoked Tomatoes
Preparation & Cooking Time: Prep time: 20 minutes | Grilling time: about 5 minutes
Recipe by Jamie Purviance
- 1 pint pear or cherry tomatoes, each cut lengthwise in half
- 12 ounces dried penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups tightly packed baby spinach
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano® cheese, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on a perforated grill pan and set aside.
Drain and add the wood chips to the charcoal or to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer’s instructions, and close the lid. When the wood begins to smoke, set the grill pan with the tomatoes over indirect medium heat. Close the lid and cook the tomatoes until they have a smoky flavor, about 5 minutes (do not turn). Remove the pan from the grill and set on a heatproof surface.
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the pasta according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce.
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are very soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Drain the pasta, and reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the reserved pasta water, the sauce, and the basil to the pot and mix well. Add the spinach and half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve the pasta warm with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top.