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FARFALLE WITH SPINACH, MUSHROOMS, CARAMELIZED ONIONS

Creamy Farfalle Pasta with spinach, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. This simple meatless Italian dinner is pure comfort food! The bow-tie-shaped pasta is perfectly paired with a rich, buttery parmesan sauce!

FARFALLE – BOW TIE PASTA
Farfalle pasta is meant to be used with creamy sauces
, like chicken broccoli alfredo (with or without chicken) or with this creamy four-cheese pasta sauce. This farfalle recipe was inspired by another family favorite that features a rich creamy pasta sauce: spinach mushroom pasta.

Farfalle works very well in both meatless recipes and dishes with meat. This particular recipe is meatless. However, you can easily add any type of meat or seafood. Add easy pan-fried chicken or grilled chicken to this creamy tie pasta. Who doesn’t love creamy pasta, especially if you add chicken? It’s a perfect dish to make for a weeknight family dinner.
If you love seafood, add pan-seared scallops with bacon or trout with lemon garlic butter sauce.

FARFALLE: ITALIAN PASTA
This Italian-inspired recipe features bow-tie-shaped pasta smothered in an easy cream sauce with vegetables and mushrooms. You’ll love this simple comfort food on a plate.

Simple Ingredients. This recipe requires basic ingredients that you can buy at just about any store: bow tie pasta, spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, cream, and parmesan.
Packed with vegetables. This meatless farfalle recipe uses caramelized spinach and onions. It’s a great and delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into your dinners.

The caramelized onions add so much flavor and sophistication to this dish!
Weeknight Dinner Recipe. This easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to cook. It’s also a great recipe for using up any leftover chicken. Just toss some leftover cooked chicken with some creamy farfalle pasta, and you have a perfect family dinner!
Flexible recipe. What I love about this creamy bowtie pasta is that you can serve it as is, without meat! Or, you can add protein, if you like. Serve farfalle with grilled steak, grilled chicken, or fish.

WHAT IS FARFALLE?
Farfalle is an Italian pasta
shaped like a bow tie. Farfalle pasta can also be described as butterfly-shaped pasta. In fact, “farfalle” means “butterflies” in Italian.
Farfalle dates back to the 16th century in the Lombardy and Emilia Romagna regions of northern Italy.
Farfalle is often used with cream sauces and in tomato-based sauces. It is also popular in salads.

Substitutions
What can you use instead of farfalle?
You can substitute farfalle for penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or orecchiette without affecting the taste.
What can you substitute for spinach? You can use kale, Swiss chard, or arugula instead of spinach.
What type of mushrooms can you use? Use button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, portobello, shiitake, or oyster mushrooms.
How can I make this recipe gluten-free? Use gluten-free farfalle or other types of gluten-free pasta.
What can you use instead of half and a half? Use 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup milk instead of 1 cup half and half.

COOKING TIPS
Make-ahead tip.
Make caramelized onions ahead of time, refrigerate in an airtight container and use within 3 days. You can also freeze caramelized onions for up to 2 months and thaw them whenever you need them.
If the creamy parmesan sauce is too thick, slowly add a small amount of half and a half to thin it out. Make sure the sauce continues to simmer and does not stop while you add half and a half to thin it out.
If the creamy Parmesan sauce is too thin, add a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese and stir it in while the sauce simmers.
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK FARFALLE?
Usually, farfalle is cooked in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
To prepare farfalle al dente, cook farfalle for 8 minutes, or 2 minutes less than the package directions.

HOW TO MAKE FARFALLE PASTA
1.
First, caramelize the onions for 30 minutes to reach a nice dark brown color. (See: how to caramelize onions). This step can be done in advance. Make caramelized onions a day or two in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
2. Next, cook the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
3. Then add the spinach to the cooked mushrooms and stir until the spinach wilts.
4. Then make the creamy pasta sauce. Add half and half parmesan cheese to the pan with spinach and mushrooms. Stir, while the sauce simmers, until cheese melts.
5. Add caramelized onions to the pan.
6. Add cooked and drained farfalle pasta to the pan with the pasta sauce and reheat over low heat for a few minutes.

SIDE DISHES
bread
. Serve garlic bread or baguette with creamy farfalle pasta.
Green salad. Make a basic green salad, such as a spinach or arugula salad. Use a simple dressing of olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese.
Fresh Salad. Make this tomato cucumber avocado salad or tomato mozzarella salad.

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