Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta

 I can't tell if it's just my pregnant state that makes my love affair with meals even better, or if I'm just on a lucky streak with new recipes lately. Usually there are a few duds between every successful recipe, but I've genuinely loved the past few recipes we've tried. I'd been wanting to try this recipe from Giada (which is essentially the same thing swapping arugula for spinach) but, saw this recipe recently and decided to try it first since we always have an abundance of spinach in our fridge. Truthfully, I was a little nervous because I do not especially like the taste of cooked spinach. I try to sneak in it meals here and there, but I very much prefer it raw. I told Nick that this would either be awesome or disgusting, luckily it was the former. Nick said his only complaint was, "That {I} didn't put more on {his} plate." Siena devoured hers and wanted seconds, even when I told her it was a spinach and avocado sauce. Since we each ate a hefty serving of spinach and I was too lazy, this pasta plus fresh pineapple was dinner. Needless to say, we did not have any left overs. We used basil from our garden and since we have spinach starting to grow as well, hopefully in a few more weeks we can try it again with our own bounty. {P.S. We just got lots of organic whole wheat spaghetti from Costco- it ends up being about $1.00/lb which is a pretty great price since normal Barilla is $1.00-$1.40 around here-the whole wheat varieties significantly more.} I've been waiting to go to the store and get another small Greek yogurt so we can enjoy this again! (It just so happens that the amount of yogurt I used in the Chicken burgers + this recipe = exactly one yogurt cup.)

Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta


6-8 ounces of pasta
2 Tbsp. butter (next time I'll try 1 Tbsp.)
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of salt, more to taste
3-4 big handfuls of spinach (about 8-10 oz)
fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup grated fresh Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, reserving some of the pasta water.

2. While pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the spinach to the saucepan (Yes, the pan will be full. Just stuff it all in.) Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Let the mixture cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the spinach is completely wilted. *Add some of the basil at this time, and save a bit for garnish at the end.

3. Add the yogurt, avocado, and 2-3 Tablespoons of reserved pasta water to the spinach mixture. Stir it a bit, then buzz it up with an immersion blender. (If you don't have one, transfer to a food processor or a blender. Blend well, and return sauce to the pot.) Stir in the cheese, and add more pasta water if it seems too thick.

4. If your pasta is still hot, simply toss the pasta and sauce together in a large serving bowl. If it's not, then combine the pasta and sauce in one of the pots (preferably the larger one) and cook over medium low until everything is hot. Add salt and pepper, to taste and serve with the remaining basil as well as a sprinkle of grated cheese.

from Perry's Plate

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