Spinach & Brown Rice Pasta Bake

“Out with the white
In with the green,
Bring in that garden
And throw out the cream.
Fresh and light
With herbs bare,
Bringing out the flavors
Of them veggies rare.
Sauté and blend
Cook and flip,
Now throw it in the oven
For that finishing crisp.
Take a risk
Mess about,
The resulting revolution
Beats take-out!”
1 ½ cup brown rice pasta
2 cups spinach leaves
½ onion, sliced lengthwise
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
1/3 cup edamame beans (frozen or fresh)
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon grated gouda cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes
½ teaspoon basil (dried, increase to 1 teaspoon if using fresh)
Salt & pepper to taste
Bring to boil 3 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add pasta and cook till it’s al dente- cooked but firm. Remove from heat, drain and keep aside (cover with a wet cloth s it doesn’t become dry).
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic. Once it begins to brown, add the spinach leaves and cook till they are just wilted. Transfer to a mixer along with ½ cup water and blend to a fine paste.
Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil with the onions, corn, edamame and all the dry spices and sauté till onions begin to turn transparent. Stir in the spinach sauce and pasta prepared earlier. Cover and cook on medium flame for 5-8 minutes, till the spinach sauce is cooked and no longer has a raw taste. Remove from flame, transfer to a baking dish, and top with cherry tomatoes and cheese. Bake in a 400 degree F pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot.