Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ricotta Spinach Pasta

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Sweet and creamy ricotta cheese tossed together with spinach and a hint of nutmeg makes for a fast and easy dish.

I used frozen spinach for this dish and I think it works as well as fresh without all the work.  As a matter of fact I almost always use frozen spinach when cooking.  Its convenient and quite the bargain when you think about how much spinach it takes to make one 10 oz. box.  Just make sure to squeeze out all the water that comes out of the spinach before adding it to the dish.  I happen to have chopped spinach in my freezer but I think that leaf would work well too.

The hot pasta is what does most of the cooking in this dish.  The onion, garlic and spinach get cooked up in a sauté pan but the rest of the ingredients are tossed in a bowl without cooking and the hot pasta is what brings it together.

I chose large tube pasta thinking of manicotti and attempting to create a mock manicotti pasta dish without the meat sauce.
RICOTTA SPINACH PASTA
1          pound pasta
10        oz.       frozen chopped spinach, defrosted with liquid squeezed out
1          slice     onion, minced
1          clove   garlic, minced
1          Tbsp.   butter
1 ½      cup      ricotta cheese, room temperature
¾         cup      parmesan cheese, grated
1          cup      half & half, room temperature
pinch               nutmeg
1          Tbsp.   olive oil
¾         tsp.      kosher salt
¼         tsp.      black pepper
½         cup      pasta water

Cook pasta in salted water.  Drain and reserve ½ cup pasta water.

Defrost spinach and squeeze out the extra moisture.

Sauté onion and garlic in the butter over med heat until the onions are soft.  Add the spinach and cook for another minute or two.

Mix spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese, half & half, nutmeg, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add hot cooked pasta into the cheese and spinach mixture and mix well to coat evenly.  Add some or all of the pasta water if you need to thin out your sauce.  Top with more parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


More Pasta Ideas...
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

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