Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Fast and furious creamy spinach pasta
I usually cook a huge pot of something on Sundays and package it up for the week to have for lunch and/or dinner. It makes the start of the week easier to handle. This weekend, I did not get around to making my usual standby of assembly-line meals.
I was out most of the day on Monday and when I returned home I was famished. There was nothing to warm up and nosh on. After I devoured a can of smoked oysters with some bread, I began to think about what to make for dinner. I had less than an hour to make something before I scooted off to my Pilates class.
I decided to make spaghetti because it is fast and I had a hankering for carbs. I found this recipe for pasta with creamy spinach walnut sauce posted by eat me, delicious who adapted the original recipe from the "Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favourites."
Did I have any walnuts? No, but that didn't stop me. I used pine nuts instead.
The sauce, or pesto, as I like to call it was...delicious!
This is a forgiving recipe because although I only used 1 cup of cottage cheese (instead of 2 cups) and dried basil, rather than freeze-dried (not sure what that is), the sauce was not lacking in flavour or thickness.
Furthermore, I had no broccoli in the fridge so I skipped that part entirely.
But I did add a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil because I enjoy olive oil and it tastes great on pasta dishes. I guess since I added oil to this dish it can no longer be considered "low-fat."
Who cares? Let's move on...
So without further delay, here is my version to this recipe below:
3 cups packed fresh spinach
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 lb pasta
Wash and clean the spinach. Steam the spinach on medium heat for about 4 minutes. Do not over cook. Remove spinach from steam basket. Shake off excess moisture or water from spinach.
In a food processor, add the spinach, pine nuts, cottage cheese, garlic, Parmesan, basil, and salt and puree until smooth. Add pepper to taste and set aside.
Make the pasta according to package instructions. For 'al dente' cook less. For softer pasta cook longer. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water to slow down the cooking process and to keep the pasta from sticking.
Transfer the cooked pasta into a large bowl and add a few more drops of olive oil. Then ask your sous chef, er...your husband/wife/partner to add the creamy spinach pesto to the pasta as you scoot out the door for Pilates, or whatever else you are in a hurry to get to. Oh! and ask them to also take a photo of the finished meal for your blog.