Pasta with a Creamy Sauce and Spinach

When my magazines come in the mail, I always stockpile them until the next airplane trip (sometimes a monthly occurrence). I will see recipes or ideas I like and then tear out the pages. When I return from my trips, I find random magazine pages all inside my luggage. This recipe was inspired by a pasta recipe. It called for rainbow chard, which makes me sick, so I was going to substitute spinach. It also called for a fancy pasta which I did not feel like buying. Then, when it came to the flavors I realized that it was lacking some basic seasoning. That’s when I knew that I was not going to follow the recipe at all, other than having some sort of pasta, cheese, and a veggie. Sooo…an original!

This has creamy in the title, but I did not use any cream or even whole milk. Just basic 2% worked fine. You could use less cheese to make it a bit healthier, as well as not including the egg (but K loves eggs, so why not include another one when I can?). You can also feel free to play around like I did.

I think you will like this recipe because it is quick and easy to make with ingredients on hand. It is also a nice way of getting some vegetables with minimal effort. If you wanted to use something else like broccoli, you would just have to cook it a bit first before adding it in.

Oh, and I do need to do a shoutout for the cheese. It was one that K picked out at Whole Foods. It is a combination Gouda/Parmesan. So, it tastes like Parmesan, but has the texture of Gouda. It was awesome! I included some chopped up pieces at the end just for us to appreciate the flavor more.

Directions for Pasta with a Creamy Sauce and Spinach

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil (I used about 1 Tablespoon plus 1 Tablespoon Smart Balance–butter would work, too)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or other variant
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese (use what you like)
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • About 3/4 pound pasta (I used spaghetti, but you can use shapes, too!)
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (optional)
  • Lots of spinach (seriously, it cooks down, so probably at least 4-5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • Fresh basil (optional)

Start by heating the olive oil in a small saucepan with the garlic over medium heat.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Near the last 2 minutes of cooking, add in the spinach and sundried tomatoes.

Drain and return to the pot.

Add some salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and chopped onion to the garlic. Stir and continue to heat until the garlic starts to brown (2-4 minutes).

Stir in the flour,

then add the milk, whisking constantly. If using, stir in the egg quickly to avoid scrambling it. Add the white wine, continuing to stir.

Mix in half of the ricotta cheese and the lemon juice.

Add more cheese or more wine/milk depending on how thick you want your sauce.

This was a little thick, so I added more wine after.

When the pasta is ready, stir the sauce into the pasta. Then, stir in the grated cheese, the remaining ricotta broken into chunks, and some basil.

Serve!

Directions for Pasta with a Creamy Sauce and Spinach without pictures

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil (I used about 1 Tablespoon plus 1 Tablespoon Smart Balance–butter would work, too)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or other variant
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese (use what you like)
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • About 3/4 pound pasta (I used spaghetti, but you can use shapes, too!)
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (optional)
  • Lots of spinach (seriously, it cooks down, so probably at least 4-5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • Fresh basil (optional)

Start by heating the olive oil in a small saucepan with the garlic over medium heat. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Near the last 2 minutes of cooking, add in the spinach and sundried tomatoes. Drain and return to the pot.

Add some salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and chopped onion to the garlic. Stir and continue to heat until the garlic starts to brown (2-4 minutes). Stir in the flour, then add the milk, whisking constantly. If using, stir in the egg quickly to avoid scrambling it. Add the white wine, continuing to stir. Mix in half of the ricotta cheese and the lemon juice. Add more cheese or more wine/milk depending on how thick you want your sauce. When the pasta is ready, stir the sauce into the pasta. Then, stir in the grated cheese, the remaining ricotta broken into chunks, and some basil. Serve!

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2 thoughts on “Pasta with a Creamy Sauce and Spinach

  1. wow that looks really really good. A cheese that tastes like Parmesean with the texture of gouda? That sounds really amazing. Although I love the taste of both. I have never met a cheese I didn’t like. 😉

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