We hosted some incredible parties at that house. But because we spent so much time there, we ended up enjoying many a summer barbecue there too. There was at least a night or two each week that I would stop by the grocery store on my way back from my summer internship and head straight over to the house for a potluck barbecue with my friends. The food was never fancy (we were poor college students and inexperienced cooks), but these nights are some of my best memories from that time in my life.
While one of the guys always manned the grill and served up burgers and hot dogs for us, I always came armed with a side dish. Back in the day when I was still a novice cook (but ac cook, nonetheless), I had two go to barbecue sides: A simple pasta salad (like this recipe that Alex and I enjoyed several times during our painting picnics in our new place last summer) and a classic spinach dip. You know the kind-- frozen spinach, mayo, sour cream, dehydrated soup mix, and maybe some green onions or water chestnuts served up in a bread bowl. It wasn't fancy or gourmet, but it sure was delicious!
I still have a soft spot for this dip and recently decided to bring it back into my recipe arsenal-- with a few tweaks, of course. This was mostly because I was just introduced to the deliciousness that is Pasta Chips-- and more refined chip deserves a more refined dip, don't you think? Pasta Chips are made with semolina flour (like your favorite pasta) and have a delicate cracker-like texture, but are perfect for dipping like a chip. And the great news is that they aren't greasy and they contain only 120 calories per serving and up to 60% less saturated fat than a regular potato chip.
After sampling a few flavors of Pasta Chips, I decided that the Garlic & Olive Oil variety was one of my favorite flavors and would pair perfectly with my updated spinach dip. This dip contains fresh (not frozen spinach), diced roasted red peppers, green onions, and a healthy serving of grated Pecorino Romano for flavor. And a combination of pantry seasonings kick up the flavor without adding anything weird or artificial to the mix. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and you have a flavorful, creamy, and lighter dip that tastes delicious served with fresh veggies and-- of course-- with crispy Pasta Chips!
- 2/3 cup light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt *If using yogurt, strain it first to remove excess liquid
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
- 5 oz. bag fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 3 green onions (green and white parts), diced
- 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
- 1 Tbs. dry Parsley
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp. ground marjoram
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
Serve chilled with Pasta Chips and raw vegetables for dipping.
Editor's Note: Complimentary products were provided to me by Pasta Chips in order to facilitate this post. The opinions expressed here, as always, are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support A Squared!