Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pasta with ricotta and spinach

A sauce made with ricotta left over from the cheesecake recipe. For 2.

250g spinach
1 clove garlic, crushed with a little salt
Small knob of butter
200g ricotta
150g double cream
200-250g pasta (depending on your appetite) - we had spirals

Wash the spinach, and discard any tough stalks. Lift it from the water, cram it into a saucepan, and cover. Put the saucepan over a high heat for a minute. Lift the lid; if the spinach is starting to wilt, stir it so that the leaves at the top hit the boiling liquid at the bottom of the pan. As soon as all the spinach is wilted, drain it. Either leave the spinach to cool and squeeze it dry with your hands, or do your best to push out the liquid with a wooden spoon. Chop up the leaves.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, throw in a generous portion of salt, throw in the pasta, stir, and simmer at a generous bubble until al dente - just on the firm side of tenderness.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, add the garlic, and allow it to cook gently for a minute. Throw in the spinach, ricotta, and cream, stirring and mashing to blend the ingredients. Add salt to taste. Keep stirring over a low heat until warmed through.

Drain the pasta, and toss with the spinach and ricotta. The sauce is quite bland, even with the garlic: you may like to add a little cayenne, or quite a lot of black pepper. It occurs to me now that the sauce would have been enhanced by the grated rind of half a lemon.


elwyn said...

Nicholas may I suggest that next time you make this ricotta and spinach topping you substitute pecorino -
sheep's cheese - for the double cream. Alternatively you may prefer to add anchovies. Both products have full flavour and would marry well with both the ricotta and the spinach.

Nicholas Clee said...

These sound like good ideas, Elwyn. The dish needs a little extra piquancy.