Thursday, February 11, 2010

International Flavors Series # 1 - Penne Pasta and Asparagus with Tangy Spinach Sauce



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:

Serves: 4
Prep/cook time: 20 - 25 minutes

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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.

6 comments:

  1. Hey Meena.
    Lovely pasta and tempting...

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  2. Healthy and yummy pasta, shall try it one day.

    http://treatntrick.blogspot.com

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  3. Hey Meena,
    Thanks for dropping by and for your lovely comment:) The Pasta sure looks yumm and that too with asparagus and spinach sauce... Yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, all!

    Thank you very much for the awesome comments...I cant wait to see the latest additions to your blogs!!!

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  5. Nice combo!.. lovely dish!!:).. looks sooo tempting!!:)

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  6. Thanks Devi!

    Love the compliments!!

    ReplyDelete

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