Friday, May 11, 2007

Rigatoni and spinach

I cook many variations on this idea: green vegetables/anchovy/ garlic/chilli. Spinach, courgettes and broccoli all work well; peas would too, I should guess.

The inclusion of Parmesan is a solecism: the Italians do not add cheese to seafood in pasta sauces or in risotto. My excuse is that the anchovy here is a flavouring rather than a primary ingredient. Sometimes, I like to stir the cheese into the pasta and sauce; you might prefer to sprinkle it on top. You might prefer, also, to leave out the cream.

Of course, you can choose any pasta shape you like. I am going through a rigatoni phase at the moment; and it complements this sauce particularly well.

For two.

250 g rigatoni
450 g spinach
I tbsp olive oil
I clove garlic, chopped
I dry chilli, whizzed
4 anchovy fillets
142 ml double cream
3 tbsp Parmesan

Wash the spinach, cram it into a large saucepan, cover, and put it on to a high heat. Look inside after a minute or less: the spinach should be starting to wilt. Stir it around, until all the leaves have wilted, and immediately transfer to a colander, leaving the green liquid behind. Add enough water to this liquid to cook the pasta, and put the pan on to boil. Add salt, tip in the pasta, and follow the packet instructions. (But do not take the recommended timing as gospel: taste the pasta yourself.)

Meanwhile, heat the garlic, chilli and anchovy in the oil, until the anchovy melts. Pour in the cream, and allow it to bubble and thicken. Squeeze more liquid out of the spinach; chop it, and add it to the sauce to warm through.

Drain the pasta, stir it into the sauce, and stir in the cheese.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely! A simple delicious recipe with a smattering of anchovies to give it a kick (as well as a whizzed chilli!) Thanks Nick.

ChovyChap 2008