taking time for dinner even with busy schedules this month is especially nice. loved the piece in NYT yesterday about the joys of a pot of water boiling on the stove. you can read it here. good things come from a pot of water boiling on the stove. you can make a whole dinner out of one pot of boiling water. like this breathtakingly simple spinach garlic pasta recipe. so ridiculously easy, light, tasty, unfussy. here are the ingredients: pasta, spinach, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, water. molly's latest recipe on orangette reminded me to make this, hers has a similar rustic, simplistic spirit, but with prosciutto and butter, not spinach and olive oil. either way, cozy weeknight family dinner. grazie mille.
spinach garlic pasta
1 lb dried or fresh pasta
12-16 oz fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 glugs (TBSPs) extra virgin olive oil
a bit of salt for the pasta water
set the giant pot of water to boil. meanwhile smash a peel the cloves of garlic. salt the water. once the water is boiling furiously, place the fresh spinach in the pot. just for a second. scoop it out with a strainer. continue to drain spinach. add one glug of olive oil and then the pasta to the same pot of water, as long as it is boiling furiously again. it will of course be slightly green this water, perhaps if we are lucky, infusing your pasta with extra vitamins and minerals or perhaps a certain complexity of taste only spinach water can bring to the noodles. i notice no difference in taste, only a difference in the amount of pots i must clean and amount of water i must boil. i find it agreeable this dual pot use. while the pasta is cooking, chop the drained spinach. reserve. when the pasta is done, but still quite al dente, maybe even a little more al dente than usual, drain the pasta into a colander, reserve one to two cups of the twice used water, and and discard the rest. set the same pan on high heat, add the smashed garlic. let it roll around and sizzle in the pan for a minute or two, turn down the heat a bit so it doesn't burn. add in the spinach now. a bit of salt to taste. cook another minute. now add the drained pasta and the reserved water. cook for one minute. add in the cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. serve immediately.