Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quick and Easy Dinner

Submitted by Michelle
I was recently watching Giada De Laurentis on Food TV and she was whipping up some easy weekday meals. One involved spinach, tomatoes, cheese and pasta. It looked fantastic and simple, but I knew I would need a little protein in the recipe in order for it to please my meat eating husband. So here is my take on Giada's Fusilli with Spinach and Asiago Cheese.

I started with a big pot of boiling water and added a generous amount of salt. This dish comes together very quickly. The longest thing to cook is the pasta so get that going straight away. I used penne pasta because that is what I had on hand.
While the pasta cooked I fried the pancetta in a little bit of olive oil. Pancetta can be cooked until it is crispy, much like American bacon, but in this recipe I left it more on the tender side.
When the pancetta was cooked to my desired doneness, I removed it from the pan and added in 4 cloves of chopped garlic. I sauted the garlic for about 1 minute and then added all the spinach.
Normally I would add salt at this point, but since pancetta is extremely salty I did not need to add any extra.
Once the spinach cooked down, I added the pancetta back in, along with the tomatoes.
I let the tomatoes cook for about 3 minutes and then added a little white wine (about 1/2 cup). You could use chicken stock if you don't have wine in the house. I also added black pepper and some freshly chopped oregano that I had on hand. Because this dish is so fresh tasting, I wouldn't add dried herbs. So, if you don't have fresh herbs on hand, just skip 'em.
When the pasta was cooked (about 9 minutes) I drained it and then mixed everything together in the pot that I boiled the pasta in. I also added 1 cup of grated Asiago cheese and 1 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
The end result was a healthy and filling dinner that David and I loved.


Veronica said...

As always Michelle ... this looks delish!

Robin said...

Hi Michelle
Since I am a go by the recipe kind of gal the first time I make a recipe, can you give me an idea on how much pancetta, spinage and tomatoes you used? It looks great and would love to try it.