Friday, January 21, 2005
SPAGHETTI WITH SPINACH IN GARLIC-CREAM SAUCE
Despite the luxurious-sounding title, this recipe is nothing fancy, really, something I only tend to make when I’ve got extra cream in the refrigerator to use up and spinach is one of the only fresh vegetables in season. Sure ain’t anything wrong with it, though—quick and easy as a wink, all creamy and cheesy and garlicky, with nice green spinach livening it up. I made this on Wednesday night after fighting the traffic home from work for an hour and a half, and I still had the time and energy to rearrange the entire living room after dinner. In my world, that’s a true testament to a simple and speedy recipe.
Note: If I have half-and-half in the fridge instead of cream, I substitute 1 cup half-and-half for the 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk. Same diff.
1 pound spaghetti
10 to 12 ounces fresh spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup milk
a pinch of nutmeg
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat for cooking the pasta. When it boils, add the spaghetti and cook it until it's almost done.
2. If the spinach is not prewashed, wash it. Tear off and discard the stems and tear up the leaves (I've skipped this when I'm lazy or in a rush, however, and it turns out just fine). When the pasta is almost done, add the spinach to the water (with the pasta still in it). Stir the spinach into the boiling water and cook until it's wilted and the pasta is done, about 2 minutes, then drain it (and the pasta) in a colander.
3. Return the (now empty) pasta pot to the stove over medium-high heat and add the olive oil to it. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until warm, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, pour in the cream and milk, and then stir in the drained pasta and spinach. Sprinkle on the nutmeg, salt, and a lot of black pepper, toss everything together, and heat it for 1 minute. Serve each portion sprinkled with cheese.
Time: 20-30 minutes