Monday, March 19, 2012

Bowtie Pasta and Spinach with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Bow Tie Pasta & Spinach with Parmesan Cream Sauce
I was buying spinach for my wife's lunch salads, and I just couldn't resist the buy one - get one free offer. Having more than doubled up on the spinach needs for the week, I had to do something with it. Since I just don't have enough patience to make my own raviolis most of the time, I had to go with sauteed spinach in a cheesy cream sauce, or it a creamy cheese sauce? Some pan seared pork chops on the side, and you have an easy, very delicious dinner.

You will need...

12 oz Baby Spinach (2 x 6 oz bags, pre cleaned)
1 lb Bow Tie Pasta - Farfalle for the Purists
1 Roasted Red Pepper Diced- took mine from a jar this time, homemade  is much better if you have the time!
1 16 oz can Black Olives, Cut in half, or chopped - YUP! Canned olives, Love'm, No Apologies
1 Pint Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup White Wine - I like a nice Pinot Grigio
1/2 -3/4 Cup Quality Parmesan and/or Italian Blend like Asiago & Provolone
1 tbsp fine minced Garlic - I ran a couple good cloves through a press
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt, Black Pepper & Crushed Red Pepper to taste

About 15 minutes prep, 45 minutes to cook.
Black Olives and Rasted Red Peppers
This is one of those recipes where it is a whole lot easier to prep everything and line up the ingredients in advance, once you start it goes quickly. In a skillet large enough to toss the pasta with the cream sauce (10" & deep), pre-heat the olive olive oil over a medium-low heat. Add the olives & roasted red pepper, tossing lightly in the olive oil occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and continue to toss lightly for a few minutes. It will seem like a ton, but it shrinks quickly. I like to seaosn here with a dash of salt, black and crushed red pepper.
Spinach Saute

When the spinach is mostly wilted, add the garlic and continue to gently toss for a couple of minutes. Add the wine, turn the heat to medium high to reduce the wine by about 1/2 and put the water on high for the pasta in a separate pan. When the wine is reduced, add the cream and lower the heat just enough to keep it simmering and thickening while the pasta cooks. I add the cheese once I put the pasta in the water with a good dash of salt.. Start with just a 1/2 cup and add to taste & desired thickness.

Taste the sauce here for seasoning. If it seems too thin, it will thicken with more cheese and the addition of the pasta. I like the sauce to feel like a slightly rich soup before I add the bow ties. The pasta should take about 10 minutes to al dente. If you overcook the pasta to a soft consistency, it can turn to mush in the sauce. Toss the pasta in the sauce and Enjoy!!

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