Monday, October 25, 2010

Yum yum yum!

Pasta With Tomatoes, Spinach and Goat Cheese
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed, or 1 bunch (about 12 ounces) fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped or grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons slivered basil
3/4 pound farfalle or fusilli
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1. Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Wash the spinach, and wilt in batches over high heat in a large frying pan. Transfer to a colander, rinse with cold water and then squeeze dry. Coarsely chop and set aside.
2. Dry the pan, and heat over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the tomatoes. Turn up the heat to medium-high, and cook the tomatoes, stirring often, until they have cooked down to a fragrant sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil and spinach. Keep warm.
3. When the pasta water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook until just al dente and firm to the bite. Add a ladleful of the pasta water to the pan with the tomatoes and spinach, then drain the pasta and toss immediately with the tomato-spinach mixture and the goat cheese, which should melt. Serve at once.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: Wilted spinach will keep in a covered bowl in the refrigerator about four days. You can make this through Step 2 several hours before you cook the pasta. Reheat the tomato and spinach mixture, and make sure to thin out with a ladleful of the pasta water before tossing with the pasta and goat cheese.
Nutritional information per serving: 472 calories; 14 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 15 milligrams cholesterol; 70 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 95 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during preparation); 18 grams protein

**One thing to note: The sodium content can be high in some brands of bagged spinach. A 3-ounce serving of Dole organic baby spinach, for example, contains 135 milligrams of sodium. The same amount from Fresh Express contains 65 milligrams. The difference may have to do with the solution that certain commercial producers use to wash the spinach.
If you do use bagged baby spinach, check the values on the package. A 3-ounce serving (85 grams) should not have more than 70 milligrams of sodium.

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