Monday, October 25, 2010

"Creamed" Spinach Pasta - Spaghettini with Mascarpone and Spinach

This is one of those recipes that created itself when I was emptying out the refrigerator.  LOL

It's a quick and simple way to use a whole lotta fresh spinach. In my case, it's before it has a chance to wilt.  I went a little crazy the last time I was at the grocery store and bought just a little bit too much.  One can only eat so much spinach salad.  oops!

The key to this dish is the ability to make a sauce very quickly by combining 3 ready made ingredients...  Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pasta Water, and either Mascarpone or Cream Cheese; depending on which one is in your refrigerator.

Yep, it really is that simple.  Of course your gonna need a couple of other things, like some long pasta (I like Spaghettini) and the a fore mentioned spinach.  I always have a shallots lying around, so I throw those in as well.  I like shallots, cause it kind of saves on chopping time... It's like Sweet Onion and Garlic all rolled into one papery bundle of goodness.  This particular time, I had some green onions lying around as well, but they are not really necessary to the deliciousness of this creamy spinach pasta dish.

"Creamed" Spinach Pasta

Printable Recipe
10 oz Baby Spinach
1 TB Olive oil
1 Shallot
1 bunch Green Onion (scallions), sliced (white and light green parts)
1 TB Fresh Tarragon, chopped (or 3/4 tsp dried)
1 lb Spaghettini
3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water
8 Oz Mascarpone
1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (plus extra for serving)
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

Place a large stock pot full of water over high flame to bring it to a boil.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach and toss it into a large pasta bowl.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium flame.

When the oil is hot, add the shallot and saute about 1 minute.

Add the green onion and tarragon, sauteing about 1 minute more.

Remove from heat and dump on top of the spinach in the pasta bowl.

When the water in the stock pot is boiling, salt it really quick, then drop the pasta.

Cook according to package directions.... Spaghettini usually takes about 6-7 minutes.
Using tongs, remove the pasta from the water and into the pasta bowl to help wilt the spinach.

Dip out 3/4 cup of the hot starchy pasta water with a Pyrex pitcher and pour over the spaghettini. (the starch in the water will help bind the sauce together)

Toss this all together a couple times.

Spoon the Mascarpone (or Cream Cheese) over the pasta and toss again.

Once the Mascarpone has melted and become distributed through the pasta, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and toss again until it melts as well.

Season with Salt and Pepper if necessary and serve with Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.



1 comment:

Unknown said...

thats my kinda dish!! I just ate dinner but I wouldn't say no to a plate of this if it were handed to me