Cheesy Florentine Pasta with an easy creamy Parmesan sauce, fresh spinach and roasted bell peppers. The perfect weeknight meal that’s also great as a cold lunch option!
Cheesy Florentine Pasta
Cheesy easy pastas are how we survive the week around here when we’re out of proteins to cook with. I have a lot of friends who intentionally make vegetarian dinners on a weekly basis but for us, we like chicken pastas more than almost any other comfort dish.
This florentine pasta is a quick and easy recipe that comes together with some fresh spinach and either bottled or home roasted bell peppers tossed with an easy creamy cheese sauce.
The sauce on its own is a basic roux with milk, mozzarella and parmesan. The addition of the bell peppers and pasta make the flavors pop even more.
The flavors of spinach and cheese run pretty deep on this blog including one of my all time favorite recipes, Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Flank Steak which has fresh spinach and provolone cheese wrapped in steak and seared.
You can enjoy the dish warm or cold, we often eat this recipe cold for lunches or picnics out. In fact the last time we attended the Hollywood Bowl we picnicked with this recipe as our main entree.
What to serve with this Florentine pasta?
We love to serve it with grilled chicken or ribeye steak. We also love sides like Roasted Garlic Butter Mushrooms for a more savory (umami) flavor if you are looking for a meat free alternative for making this a more filling meal.
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup roasted peppers , sliced
- Cook the pasta one minute shy of the directions listed on the box and drain (do not rinse).
- Add the butter to the pot you just used for the pasta (make sure to have at least rinsed it out well).
- Once melted add in the flour and whisk well, cooking for about a minute.
- Add in the milk slowly while whisking until smooth.
- Add in the salt, pepper, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and whisk well.
- Add the pasta back in and toss well.
- Add in the spinach and bell peppers and toss a bit more before serving.