Yield: about 6-8 servings


For the roasted tomatoes: 
1½ pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp. olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar

For the pasta: 
12-16 oz. pasta (I use whole wheat)
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup chopped yellow onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
16 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 avocado, split and pitted
6 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, packed
6 tbsp. greek yogurt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

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  • step 1: HideShow Images

    To roast the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper, and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet and toss well to coat.  Bake for about 40 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

  • step 2: HideShow Images

    Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water for use in the sauce.

  • step 3: HideShow Images

    While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter with the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 1 minute more.  Add the spinach to the pan, cover, and reduce the heat to medium.  (If you can’t fit all the spinach at once it’s okay – just add it in batches as it wilts.)  Stir occasionally until all the spinach has been wilted.

  • step 4: HideShow Images

    In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine the onion-spinach mixture with the avocado, basil, yogurt and Parmesan.  Process until the mixture is smooth, adding in a splash of pasta water at a time as necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.  Toss the sauce with the warm pasta noodles and serve immediately topped with the roasted tomatoes and additional Parmesan, if desired.