Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Creamy Pasta with Spinach, Carrots and fresh Tomatoes

I made this on the fly to go with Pesto Provolone Chicken. It's really good - even my boyfriend's picky son liked it! I served this as a side, but I think with a handful of shrimp tossed in, it could be great on its own. The carrots, spinach and tomatoes are things I always have on hand. Half and half or light cream or even canned evaporated skim milk can sub for the heavy cream if you want.

  • 4 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 Knorr Chicken Bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced finely
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup matchstick or shredded carrots
  • handful fresh spinach, torn up
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

Cook pasta and carrots in boiling salted water about four minutes and drain. Before draining, scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water and dissolve the bouillon cube in it. After draining, put the pasta in a large bowl and add the butter. Toss gently to melt butter through the pasta.

While the water comes to a boil, heat the cream and garlic together over low heat. Simmer very gently to diffuse the garlic flavor through the cream. There should just barely be bubbles around the edges of the pan.

After the pasta is cooked, add the strong bouillon to the cream and raise heat to medium high. Add parsley and pepper. When cream and bouillon comes just to a boil, remove from heat and pour over pasta. Add spinach and tomatoes and toss gently to combine. The spinach should be just wilted and bright green and the tomatoes will not cook. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, toss again, and serve immediately.

To make this a main dish, double the amounts of everything and add some diced chicken or sauteed shrimp.

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