Spicey Salmon Penne Pasta with Spinach and Goat Cheese

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This is one of my favorite pastas to make.  You combine penne pasta (some of my high protein favorites are Barilla ProteinPlus and Ancient Harvest Green Lentil penne), 4-5 ounces of cooked salmon, asparagus, spinach, light creamy garlic sauce and top with a sprinkling of basil & goat cheese.  

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Doesn't this look delicious.  The best part is - it only takes about 30 minutes.  

Here's the recipe. Makes 2-4 servings.

1 cup dry pasta (cook according to package directions) *tip add some granulated garlic to the water a minute or 2 prior to removing pasta
4-5 ounces salmon
4-5 mushrooms (sliced thin)
6-8 asparagus spears (cut in 3-4 pieces each)
1/4 of an onion-diced
1 cup of fresh spinach
1-2 garlic cloves
1/8 of tsp of crushed red pepper (add more if you like it spicier)
1 TBSP of flour (for thickening)
3/4 cup of skim milk
1/4 cup of unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of reserved pasta water
1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano or 1/2 cup of sliced fresh cocktail tomatoes
1/4 tsp of fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp of paprika
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of goat cheese
Fresh basil

Cook salmon flesh side down in a nonstick pan - flip over skin side down after 5-7 minutes and continue cooking until desired doneness - another 5-10 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool while you make the sauce.  While the salmon is cooking boil water for the pasta and add the asparagus spears the last few minutes of cooking.  Then reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta and asparagus and leave aside.  Leave the salmon aside to cool.  

For sauce:
In a nonstick pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray), place the mushrooms and onions in the pan and saute until lightly browned.  Add the flour and lightly stir.  Add the milk and stock and stir until thickened (takes just a few minutes).  Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, black pepper, paprika and stir.  Add the drained pasta, asparagus and spinach and stir.  Let the sauce thicken for 5-10 minutes.   

In a large bowl, break up the salmon then add the sauce.  Top with the parmesan, goat cheese and basil, stir and Enjoy.