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:
Excellent source of vitamin A, C & folate.
- Flavonoid compounds in spinach function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.
- It's an excellent source of bone-building nutrients including calcium and magnesium.
- Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
- 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.
- Cooked spinach is an excellent source of Iron.
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
- 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
- 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.
- In the mean time while pasta is boiling, clean & roughly chop the mushrooms.
- 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.
- Add milk to it & let it boil, simmer cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Cool little bit, take it out & puree it. That's the creamy sauce for the pasta.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.