Thursday, December 9, 2010
Italian Spinach Pasta
So, I watched Giada make this really good pasta with spinach and fresh cherry tomatoes one day. I made it and it was good….especially for a Girl Day during the summer. It was light. However, my hubby wanted something more…it needed more depth. Still, I loved the idea that she used spinach in her pasta. So, I decided to come up with my own recipe, but still keep her spinach aspect in the pasta!
This is a cozy, alone, afternoon meal in my book. Meaning, it’s filling in my opinion, and makes a great meal on those afternoons or evenings when the hubby is watching the ballgame with his buddies and the kids are visiting the grandparents! I love to make this dish, cuddle under my blanket on my couch, and get caught up in whatever Real Housewives show is on my DVR….or lately, Sarah Palin’s Alaska….I love her ruggedness and blunt honesty!
Enough Sarah Palin talk….I may lose some readers!
My hubby’s definitely a meat and potatoes kinda guy, so I actually make this as a side dish for him when we want something different!
Okay, your Ingredients:
1 pckg fresh Spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1 cup of HOT water
15 or so cherry tomatoes (if you don’t have cherry, use a can of diced tomatoes and the juice or chop 1 or 2 tomatoes that you have
½ cup of Olive Oil
About 2 cups uncooked noodles (I use Penne, but you can use whatever you want)
1 cup Asiago cheese (I buy is shredded in the special cheese section)
½ - 1 cup of parmesan cheese
Basil (I use fresh)
1-2 Garlic Cloves
Let’s make some pasta:
Through your pasta in some boiling water….LISTEN…..It’s important that your pasta is AL DENTE….Don’t overcook it. There’s nothing worse than overcooked pasta! So keep checking it.
While you are boiling your pasta….
Roughly chop your spinach. Cut you cherry tomatoes in half.
In a pot, heat your Olive Oil on MEDIUM HIGH. You want your oil to get hot. I know, ½ cup of oil? Stay with me here….it makes a great base and adds to the other ingredients to create ‘warmth’ in your dish.
When your oil warms, through in your spinach and toss for a bit. Put a lid on it for a few seconds to let the spinach cook down, tossing every so often. While that’s cooking down, through in your tomatoes and your garlic. I use fresh garlic because I have a press…..but minced works just fine too. (If you don’t press your garlic or chop it, always keep minced in your frig….heck, regardless, always have minced available in your frig!)
Toss those ingredients and let them cook a bit. If you think your temps to high, just turn it down a bit and let those ingredients simmer together. KEEP WATCHING YOUR PASTA. Whenever it’s down, drain it….if your pasta gets done to earlier, throw it back in the pot after draining and put some Olive Oil in it to keep it from sticking together.
Back to your ‘sauce’….While your ingredients are simmering, get a cup of HOT water and add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to it. STIR, STIR, STIR….OR WHISK, Whatever. I whisk!
At this point, your pasta should be done, if you haven’t already drained it, do so.
Now, pour your tomato paste/water mixture in the spinach pot. Stir. Then throw your pasta in, and throw in your 2 cheeses and tablespoon of each spice……TOSS THAT SUCK!!!
VIOLA…..IT WILL MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!!