I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with spinach. Sometimes I find it so tasty and delicious, but in some recipes I want to pick it out of my food. Baby spinach, however, is a sure bet for sweet, tasty spinach flavour. This is one recipe where I definitely love the spinach!
This recipe was inspired by Giada De Laurentiis. I find her dishes relatively easy to build upon and expand because they’re simple and straight-forward.
Here’s what you need:
I didn’t notice at the time of taking this that not a single one of the ingredient photos for this recipe were clear and sharp. You need a bag of baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.
This is the whole bag of spinach. Remove about 3/4 of the spinach for the sauce. We’ll get to this soon.
Set aside about 1/4 of the spinach to wilt and toss with the pasta.
Put your favourite pasta on to boil. I usually choose penne for this dish.
While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. I use my stick blender and the tall canister that came with it to blend everything.
Take a couple of tablespoons of the sun-dried tomatoes and rinse the off the oil. Put the tomatoes and about a tablespoon of minced garlic into the blender container. Add 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of cream cheese and 3/4 of that bag of baby spinach. Grind in some black pepper to taste. Blend until all the spinach is broken down and the mixture is smooth.
Your finished sauce will be a vibrant green colour and should be the consistency of a thick pasta sauce.
When the pasta finishes cooking, drain and add to the remaining spinach. Those baby spinach leaves will wilt with the heat of the pasta.
Toss the pasta with the spinach and cheese sauce and some kosher salt to taste. Look at all that spinachy goodness!
I like to serve this pasta with grilled or baked chicken. Here we had a pancetta and sage wrapped chicken breast.
This pasta keeps well for left-overs, so I usually make a bigger batch for lunches.
Spinach and Cheese Pasta Sauce
Reserve 1/4 of spinach to toss with pasta. Combine remaining spinach, cheeses, tomatoes, garlic and pepper in blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Toss with cooked pasta, reserved spinach and salt to taste.