Many eat spinach throughout the year thanks to high-quality freezing techniques but years ago, you didn’t have the luxury of just going and getting some when you felt like it.
Spinach doesn’t have much of a unique or strong flavor – which is the reason why you can make green cakes with it without having any weird flavor in the dessert – but that doesn’t mean it is lacking any flavor at all. It really depends on how you prepare it. One annoying thing about buying spinach fresh is the sheer amount of dirt. So washing the spinach just once won’t do. Wash once and then let it rest in water to get that dirt loose and rinse a couple of times. That usually does the trick. And speaking of tricks: The roots are just as edible as the leaves of the vegetable. If you don’t want to mess with the consistency just set the roots aside and cook them with a bit of tomato paste, some onions and about a handful of bulger and let it simmer until they have cooked through. It made for a delicious little snack that can most definitely be used as an entre if you so desire.
Creamy spinach pasta
I am a sucker for pasta. It might not be the most complicated or fancy dish but the sheer possibilities of combining the pasta with other ingredients make it really interesting. This simple dish is a favorite of mine as it is really easy to make and tastes divine! This works great if you have pasta leftovers as well, just adjust the amount of spinach, etc. to taste.
- 500 grams spinach
- 500 grams pasta
- 3-4 pine nuts
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 200 milliliters heavy cream
- Pinch of nutmeg
- A bit of vegetable oil
- Parmesan or other cheese, optional
Toast your pine nuts over low heat until they take on a light brown color – this might take a couple of minutes – and set them aside. Prepare your desired pasta according to the instructions and get to making the sauce in the meantime by roasting the finely chopped garlic on low heat with a bit of vegetable oil until it turns a light brown. Start adding the spinach bit by bit, the volume of the leaves will dimmish as they cook. If needed you can add a bit of the pasta water to speed up the wilting of the spinach. Continue until you have all the spinach in the pan and season it with salt and nutmeg. Add the heavy cream and turn the heat low and let it simmer until it starts to thicken a bit. Add the drained pasta and let it cook together for a minute or two and turn the heat off.
While serving you can add some parmesan or other crumbly cheese over it to give it a bit more of an edge.