Monday, February 22, 2010

Creamy Spinach Pasta

To me pasta is very versatile. It can be prepared as a complete meal in itself or as a side dish or even as a salad. Another good thing about pasta is being a one pot meal it's hit at my place. I love pasta so much that I can even eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snack or even late night snack. I don't need lot of cheese in my pasta, but yes lots of veggies are kind of must. Pasta is regular at my place but every time with little twist depending upon what veggies I have. This one with spinach is one of my favorite. Now talking of spinach, sometime in the beginning of this month DH decided that he want spinach for at least one meal everyday. In my household we cook most of the veggies & greens but when you want to eat spinach everyday you need to think out of the box, regular palak paneer, saag they are good no doubt but I'm sure no one can eat it day after day and most importantly for eating one good thing you can not give up other good things. So, for next 7 days I will try to post one recipe with spinach each day, just to give some idea that how easy it can be to include spinach in your everyday diet, you don't have to be Popeye and eat your spinach direct from the can you can make it more tasty & visual treat for your eyes before you eat that healthy stuff.

Some of the health benefit of including spinach in your regular diet are:

  1. Excellent source of vitamin A, C & folate.
  2. Flavonoid compounds in spinach function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.
  3. It's an excellent source of  bone-building nutrients including calcium and magnesium.
  4. Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
  5. The anti-inflammatory nutrients in spinach can also help with conditions in which inflammation plays a role. For example, asthma, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis are all conditions that involve inflammation.
  6. Cooked spinach is an excellent source of Iron.
Now for the recipe :
What U need :
  • half pound of small pasta like macaroni, shell or farfalle
  • 1 8oz. box of white button mushrooms
  • 1 cup of cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • red chilli flakes
  • 1 Tblsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach cleaned or 1 frozen box(10 oz. ) of spinach defrosted
  • around 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 Tblsp. of evoo
What to do :
  1. Boil pasta as per the packet direction, Boil it for a minute or two less than the specified time as we gonna finish cooking it in the sauce.Reserve the pasta water.
  2. In the mean time while pasta is boiling, clean & roughly chop the mushrooms.
  3. Heat oil in a big pan, saute garlic & mushrooms in it. If you chop the mushrooms thin it should not take more than 5 minutes. Once done sprinkle some salt & black pepper.
  4. Add milk to it & let it boil, simmer cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Cool little bit, take it out & puree it. That's the creamy sauce for the pasta.
  6. In the same pan pour little pasta water & add chopped up spinach to it, let it cook for few minutes(roughly 4-5 minutes). Don't add any salt to this as we are using pasta water which is salty.
  7. Once spinach looks like cooked add boiled pasta(drained), cooked chicken & mushroom sauce to it. Sprinkle some red chilli flakes. If it's little dry add some of the pasta water. Let everything cook together for a minute or two.
  8. If you like sprinkle some Parmesan or any other cheese of your choice on top of it.
Note : I puree the mushrooms into sauce as this is one thing which my DD doesn't eat no matter what recipe they are in, so disguising is the only option I'm left with. You can leave it chunky as per your taste. Also for the vegetarian version, chicken can be left out & may be another packet of mushrooms can be added sliced & sauteed for the dose of extra protein.

20 comments:

Jagruti said...

Pasta looks so delicious!! my dd loves pasta...:))

Malar Gandhi said...

Yes, truly versatile...lovely and helathy combo'

Sushma Mallya said...

lovely pasta,loved the recipe...

Vrinda said...

yummy pasta recipe,looks gr8

Asha said...

YUM! Spinach makes it super healthy, good one.

Reshmi said...

yummy.....spinach n pasta would be a nice combo...

tasteofbeirut said...

This dish looks so delicious! I have been thinking of making a spinach dish too~just with rice instead!

SE said...

my favorite pasta combination..love it with spinach !!! yummy

simply.food said...

Lovely combination of spinach and pasta.

PJ said...

i share your pasta love! I can have it anytime anyday too.. this one looks delicious with all that spinach and mushrooms. I am looking forward to your spinach a day recipes.. we all need more greens!

Cicily Antony said...

my son is a pata lover...this one i'm sure he'll love...

Gulmohar said...

Creamy cheesy and yummy...a dish for my daughter....

Suparna said...

yummy creamy pasta..quite a rich and simple recipe there, nice click
TC

Sage said...

Love your post full a great information!and I love pasta and love spinach, so, thank you.
Rita

Sook said...

Oh this pasta looks great! It looks healthy, too!

Siddhi S said...

wow pasta looks very yummy...i love mushroom n spinach combo

Spice said...

Thanks girls....it's really a hit with kids....

@ToB, infact rice & spinach dish is also in my list to post, I'll be looking forward for your preparation...

@Suparna, thanks girl for stopping by...

J said...

looks gr8.. nutritious and delicilous

Red Chillies said...

very interesting Spice. DS loves pasta and I like how you use mushroom and milk to make the creamy base. Healthy!
As a side note, what can I substitute for mushrooms to make the cream.?

Spice said...

@ RC, traditional way is the white sauce using flour & milk(bechamel sauce), but personally no body big fan of that here. Other sauce for similar kind of pasta which I like is cheese sauce : 1 part milk with 2 part mixed cheese(moza. & cheddar), gently simmer everything together till cheese melts season with black pepper & Italian seasonig.....easy & fool proof, kidoos love it.