Cream, cheese and spinach make sim­ple pasta din­ner

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - GRETCHEN MCKAY

This sim­ple recipe calls for long, flat rib­bons of pasta such as tagli­atelle or fet­tuc­cine. I used whole-milk ri­cotta, but you could sub­sti­tute part-skim if you’re look­ing to cut down on fat.

Creamed Spinach

Pasta

¾ cup ri­cotta cheese Kosher salt and ground black

pep­per, di­vided use ¾ pound long pasta such as

tagli­atelle or fet­tuc­cine ½ cup pine nuts 4 ta­ble­spoons but­ter

2 cloves gar­lic, sliced thin 1 pound baby spinach leaves 1 cup heavy cream Freshly grated nut­meg Grated pecorino Ro­mano cheese, for serv­ing

In large bowl, com­bine ri­cotta with salt and pep­per to taste. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of wa­ter to boil. Add 1 to 2 tea­spoons salt and re­turn to rolling boil. Add pasta and cook un­til al dente ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions. Re­serve 1 cup cook­ing wa­ter.

While the pasta cooks, pre­pare the sauce. Toast pine nuts in a 12-inch skil­let over medium heat, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally so they do not burn, about 3 min­utes. Re­move and set aside.

Wipe skil­let clean and melt but­ter over medium-low heat. Add gar­lic and saute un­til pale golden, about 2 min­utes. Add spinach and cook un­til it wilts, about 4 min­utes more.

Add cream, bring to sim­mer and cook un­til sauce be­gins to thicken slightly, about 2 min­utes. Sea­son with salt, pep­per and nut­meg.

Scoop pasta di­rectly into skil­let and toss to com­bine. Add pasta and spinach mix­ture to bowl of ri­cotta off heat and toss to coat, adding ¼ cup pasta wa­ter or more (up to 1 cup) as needed to loosen up the sauce.

Serve in bowls and sprin­kle with pine nuts. Sea­son with salt and pep­per, if de­sired. Pass grated cheese at the ta­ble.

Makes 4 serv­ings.

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