Let me start by saying I have tried every story going to get my youngest son to eat his greens but he’s a stubborn little fellow. I am at that stage now where I try not to make a big deal of it.. I either get creative with sneaking in veggies or just plate up whatever we are having and hope for the best.
Well…. This pasta dish actually got me dancing around in the kitchen, busting out some newly learnt zumba moves in pure rejoice, as despite looking at it questioningly as I plated up, once he had a mouthful he fell in love..and requests for this at least once a week.
Big wins like this make all the food experiments worth the effort!
So go grab a 500g bag of spinach.. and let’s get cooking.
2 Teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Garlic cloves (minced)
500g spinach (roughly chopped)
300g Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup full fat cream
30g Parmesan cheese (grated, plus extra for serving)
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
Handful fresh basil
Pepper – quarter teaspoon or to taste
Bring 3 litres of water to the boil in a large pot, adding the pasta and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally.
When the pasta is almost cooked add the spinach into the pot with the pasta and cook for a further 30-60 seconds. Keep 1 cup of the cooking water and put aside, drain the pasta and spinach mixture, return the drained pasta back to the pot.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, on a medium heat , heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small pan, add the garlic, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and cook for about a minute. Take off the heat and add 100g Ricotta and cream and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix to combine
In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining Ricotta, 1 tablespoon oil, quarter teaspoon pepper and the remaining 0.5 tsp salt until smooth
Now add the cooked Ricotta/garlic mixture and the parmesan to the pasta and combine, allow the pasta to rest for a 4 minutes, tossing it frequently, add the reserved cooking water and combine well.
Place the pasta in a serving dish and dot evenly with the seasoned ricotta mixture. Top with fresh basil and sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan.