Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pasta Milano Inspired

 My husband's out of town, so I decided to make myself something for dinner that he wouldn't really like. It has three of my all-time favorite ingredients: mushrooms, spinach, and Parmesan. None of these are Mark's favorites, and the lack of meat just pushes it over the edge for him. Oh well, since it's just me....

Years ago, one of my favorite meals was Pasta Milano at Mick's Restaurant. It was a bow tie pasta with spinach and tomatoes, topped with toasted slivered almonds. 

Here's my version:

And here are the components:

(I forgot to get the slivered almonds in the picture. Oops!)

First, put the water on for the pasta. I have a ridiculous stove that takes forever to get water to a boil, so that's always what I try to do first. 

Then I got out my trusty non-stick pan, put it over medium heat, and added a little butter and about half of the baby portabella (crimini) mushrooms. I LOVE mushrooms. These were not in the pasta at Mick's but I wanted mushrooms today so I added them. That's what I like about making own food! 

Once they are done...

...add salt and turn them off. If you, unlike me, have a stove that allows you to add your pasta to the water by now, you won't have to turn your mushrooms off and wait for water to boil. <<sigh>>  Oh well, I took the time to seed and chop the tomatoes. I used two of those little Campari tomatoes. So good! 

But don't add them yet!

Add some slivered almonds to a dry pan. Toast over low heat. (I keep my almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, etc. in the freezer so they keep longer.)  Keep an eye on them because they burn quickly! I did not take a picture of the first batch since I burned them.... Don't add them yet!

Also, I grated some Parmesan cheese. But don't add it yet either!

Once the pasta is in the water, add the spinach to the pan. I just covered the pan with a nice layer. Remember it really shrinks!  I could have added even more and been happy.

Sprinkle with a little salt and turn the heat to low. Saute the spinach just until it wilts. I take care to keep it separated since it tends to all clump into one big bunch if I don't.

Once the pasta is done, add a little pasta water to the pan (maybe 2 - 3 tablespoons), add the pasta, a little more butter, and about 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Toss it all together. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes; toss to distribute. 

Plate the pasta and top with the almonds and a little more Parmesan.

Ta Da!  A dee-licious quick supper. (I MAY have added a little more Parmesan after I took the picture....)

I'm sorry I can't eat at Mick's anymore, but at least I can have my pasta!