Saturday, September 6, 2008

Spinach Noodles

On the heels of yesterday's anti-pasta post (no pun intended).....

I give you a pasta dish.

Another family recipe, I chuckle as I write this because I used to say I hated it. Yes, I went through a phase as a teenager where I decided I didn't like this and caused a fuss when Mom made it. The stupidity of childhood, and I'm so sorry Mom because this pasta dish rocks.

Traditionally we like it with pasta such as rotelle (wagon wheels), farfalle (bow-ties) or orecchiette (little ears). The velvety sauce clings to the nooks and crannies of the pasta creating a luscious mouthfeel. Here I used bucatini noodles for two reasons: 1. they are hard to find and I have some in my pantry, and 2. I was curious how the sauce would react.

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A bit of cookery on a hot hot Friday!


I do think I prefer pasta shapes, but our noodles were still delicious.
My bowl,


and NH's bowl.


The spinach sauce is a wonderful recipe; it's healthy and flavorful, and if you get the texture right can seem like a creamy decadent sauce without all the fat. If you are not big on spinach but interested in its vitamins, this may be right up your alley.

Spinach Noodles
serves 4

1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of all water
3 Tablespoons onion, chopped
olive oil cooking spray
low sodium chicken broth to taste (1-3 cups)
1 cup part-skim ricotta
salt to tast
1 lb pasta, preferably shapes
Optional garnish suggestions: parmesan cheese, diced tomato, roasted or fresh corn

Spray a pan lightly with olive oil cooking spray and saute the onion without browning for a few minutes. Add the spinach and some chicken broth and cook until tender. Transfer to a food processor, add the ricotta and puree until smooth. Add chicken broth to create the preferred consistency. More chicken broth will create a smoother more liquid sauce that clings to pasta shapes.

Boil pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Garnish as desired, and serve immediately.

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After taking pictures our plates had cooled a bit, but since it was still hot a warm bowl was more welcome than a hot one.

This sauce batch did not have the velvety texture I prefer; I should have added more chicken broth- I'm still working on personally perfecting the recipe, it's a work in progress :-). Someday I'll get it just like Mom's.
On the plus side, this consistency works better as a pizza topping. Plans for one with the leftover sauce are in the works next week....

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8 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, sounds delectable!! But yes, it's often hard to replicate Mom's recipes (I've had that issue as well, haha).

Erica said...

putting this on the to make list. Soon my blog will be Suite Apple Pie Part II haha remade recipes :)

ttfn300 said...

ooh, delightful spinach sauce :)

Sammie said...

That is a great recipe - I love the pizza topping idea. I will be making that for my guys soon.

shawna said...

I will definitely be making this! It sounds and looks delicious.

Melissa said...

I am so happy I found your blog. I have been literally losing sleep over what to serve for a dinner party I am having, and your recipes look so simple and elegant, I think I might have to steal them!

Do you have ideas for a protein to accompany this dish? either a side, appetizer or topper?

Thanks so much!

Sarah said...

Hi Melissa,

These noodles are excellent as a side dish for a party! A simple grilled chicken would go really well, done on an indoor or outdoor grill with some herbs. Or, I posted a Balsamic Chicken recipe a few weeks ago that would be nice with it too.

If meat isn't your thing, some tilapia or halibut pan-seared with a some olive oil and lemon juice would be great as well! The important thing would be nothing too complicated because #1, you are having a dinner party and don't want to stress, and #2, you want the spinach noodles to shine and not be overshadowed by the protein dish.

Best of luck! I love dinner parties :-)

Melissa said...

Great thanks so much. I think I might steal that fig salad idea too! The shaved parm looks so pretty!

Don't worry, I'll give you credit to my guests.