Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today's Spinach picking makes for a tasty Fusilli Pasta with fresh spinach & ricotta cheese...

Today's To Do.....Spinach, Spinach and Spinach

Today's picking gave me four huge bags of more spinach to use!!!

Fusilli with fresh spinach & ricotta cheese...
This makes for a quick dinner especially when my Gardner Guy has a busy evening!!!


1 lb of young trimmed, washed and dried well Spinach
2 tbsp of olive oil
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 cup of half and half (or light cream)
1/2 to 1 tsp of nutmeg
1 tbsp of butter
1 lb of fusilli or cork screw pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese


Using a large pot bring water to boil; add about 1 tsp of salt then stir in the fusilli pasta, stirring occasionally until al dente, about 10-12 minutes.

Stacking spinach leaves on top of one another Julienne cut the spinach. You should have about 8 packed cups of shredded spinach.

In a large sauce pan heat olive oil on medium heat add green onions cook until they are soft about 5 minutes. Add spinach, salt and pepper, cover and let spinach steam. This will wilt the spinach, stir often it will take about 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl stir together ricotta, half and half, and nutmeg until mixture is smooth. Add the ricotta mixture, and butter to the spinach mixture. This is a good time to see if more salt and pepper is needed. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes.

Drain your Pasta well, reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to its pot and add the spinach mixture and enough of the reserved pasta water to help the sauce lightly coat the pasta. Toss thoroughly and stir in the Parmigian-Reggiano cheese. Serve warm this makes about 6 servings...

Garden Tips for Spinach...

Spinach is one of those vegetables you plant early as it is a cooler weather crop.
When picking your spinach pick leaves when they are about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long.
The smaller the leaf the sweeter the taste.
Watch for signs of bolting.
Just before plants begin to flower (starting to go to seed) they send up a large staggly stem. This tells you that the plant is finished growing and that the leaves will now turn bitter.

If you pluck the stem while it is young you may extend the life of the plant a little longer. Spinach plant just beginning to bolt, notice the small stem beginning to form...

Happy Gardening and Cooking....
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