Spinach and Cheese Pasta

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:

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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.

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This is the whole bag of spinach.  Remove about 3/4 of the spinach for the sauce.  We’ll get to this soon.

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Set aside about 1/4 of the spinach to wilt and toss with the pasta.

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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.

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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.

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Your finished sauce will be a vibrant green colour and should be the consistency of a thick pasta sauce.

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When the pasta finishes cooking, drain and add to the remaining spinach.  Those baby spinach leaves will wilt with the heat of the pasta.

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Toss the pasta with the spinach and cheese sauce and some kosher salt to taste.  Look at all that spinachy goodness!

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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

170 gram / 6 ounce bag of baby spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed, drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

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.

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