Monday, March 23, 2009

Linguini with Spinach, Butter and Cream

I had yet another 10 oz. bag of spinach to use up, so I decided to try this recipe (only in the first edition of Bittman). Came out pretty well, but why am I so resistant to learning that 1 lb. of pasta is a TON (figuratively, for sure) of food? Next time, I'll probably add more spinach or decrease the amount of pasta - just as I said I would in the last similar recipe I posted. Ah well.
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, light cream or half-and-half (used the latter)
  • 1 lb. linguini (Bittman also recommends fettucini or spaghetti; I used whole wheat, though he didn't specify one way or another)
  • 2-3 tbsp. pasta cooking water, reserved
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for passing around (Bittman sticks with 1 cup total)
In a pasta pot-type piece of cookware, salt water and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook till it's tender but firm.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet that can be covered. Add the spinach, along with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, till the spinach is very tender - about 10 min. Uncover, add the cream and cook gently for 5 minutes.

When the pasta's just about done, put the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter in a large, warm bowl. Add a couple of tbsp. of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and toss it with the butter and half the cheese.

Add the spinach sauce (After the step above, I tossed the pasta in the pan with the other half of the cheese - Bittman prefers reserving the extra 1/2 cup to pass at the table) and serve, passing around even more grated cheese.

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