After talking about dry topics like Technorati and Technorati rankings for bloggers, I have now decided to go back to my original interest - food blogging. So, here is an easy-fix pasta recipe that gets even my picky kids to eat spinach because the recipe involves 'pasta' and 'cheese' - two items I find most kids love (not to mention, the adults also dont hesitate to dig in)
Penne Pasta and Asparagus with Tangy Spinach Sauce Recipe:
Prep/cook time: 20 - 25 minutes
Penne Pasta(I used Penne, but in the past, I have used macaroni and even fettucini in this recipe in place of Penne) - 1/2 box, normally about 150 to 200gms or 8 oz
Spinach - 1 bunch, chopped
Asparagus - 5 or 6 spears cut in 1 inch long pieces
Garlic - 3 or 4 pods, chopped up
Cilantro and/or mint - few leaves
Basil leaves(optional) - 3 or 4
Almonds or walnuts or a combination of both - 6 or 7 nuts
Lemon juice - 3 or 4 tsp
Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup grated( mozarella cheese also tastes great in this recipe)
For Seasoning: Salt and Black Pepper
Add the pasta to a pot of boiling water(seasoned with salt) and let cook for 6 - 7 minutes or according to pasta's package directions. Drain the water and set the pasta aside.
Simultaneously, you could also cook the asparagus for 5 - 6 minutes in boiling water and then, take off the heat and drain (make sure that you dont overcook asparagus or otherwise it loses the bright green color)
In a blender, puree the spinach, cilantro and/or mint, garlic, almonds(or walnuts), lemon juice well till you have a fine paste.
In a pan, add some light olive oil(or any light vegetable oil). When it starts to heat up, add the spinach puree and let it cook for 5 - 6 minutes.
Then, add the cooked pasta and asparagus to the puree.
Add the seasonings(salt amd pepper) and finally, add the grated cheese on top for garnish.
Note: Alternately, if you would like to add a creamier texture to the pasta, you could make a white sauce* and pour on top of the pasta and then add cheese before serving.
White sauce recipe:
In a pan, add a couple of teaspoons of butter and when it starts melting, add 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour and stir well. When the flour thickens up and starts to turn brown, immediately you could pour a cup of milk or cream to the butter-flour mixture and then keep stirring to prevent lumps till the sauce thickens - at which point you can add it to the pasta.