20 Minute Creamy Garlic Spinach Pasta

Everything I do these days is done in short spurts of time. Sewing, cooking, cleaning… and if I have a longer stretch of time, obviously I’m going to spend it sewing. So I’m digging meals that are quick and easy, but also super yummy and still real food.20 Minute Creamy Garlic Spinach PastaThis meal was born out of a “uh oh, it’s 5:00 and I have no idea what I’m making for dinner” moment. It’s super easy to modify with whatever you have in the house. [and like most of my recipes, the amounts are approximate… I just can’t work with exacts when it comes to cooking!]

Ingredients

  • whole wheat pasta – spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine – any of these would work well [you could certainly make this with regular or even wheat-free pasta as well]
  • spinach
  • garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flour [i use whole wheat flour, but regular flour is fine too]
  • butter
  • milk
  • sea salt
  • mozzarella or fresh parmesan cheese [optional, but super yummy]
  • other possible add-ins: broccoli, peas, swiss chard, shrimp, chicken

1. Boil water for pasta. Get the pasta going before you start cooking the rest of the meal.DSC_00782. Chop garlic. I use about four cloves, because I love garlic. You could use two if you don’t want it to be quite as flavorful.DSC_00803. Sauté garlic in olive oil – add sea salt. Garlic burns quickly, so do this on a low-medium heat and watch it carefully. As soon as you add the spinach, it will be much less likely to burn.DSC_00824. Chop and add spinach [this is fresh from our CSA… so yummy]. I usually use at least double this amount. If you are using any other fresh veggies [swiss chard, broccoli], chop and add those at this time as well. Add a little more sea salt and sauté.

5. Make a roux – if you’ve never done this before, it’s super easy. You use equal parts butter and flour, and mix together in the pan to form kind of a paste. I usually use a large sauté pan and just push my veggies to the side and make the roux right in the pan. You could also use a separate pan. I then add a little milk to the roux to make a cream sauce.DSC_01086. Then add the cooked pasta to the pan. Mix it up with the cream sauce and then stir the veggies together with the pasta. [you can see I added some swiss chard to my spinach here] Totally optional, but I like to add some shredded mozzarella or fresh parmesan and mix it in.DSC_0111If you have some pre-cooked shrimp or frozen peas, toss them in for a few minutes to heat them up. This recipe is also perfect for adding a little leftover chicken. [you could also sauté the chicken while you’re making it, but that will add a few minutes to your cooking time] My almost two-year-old absolutely devours this meal – last time I made it, he had four helpings. This boy can eat.

And now I’m hungry..

What’s your favorite quick real food meal to make? I’d love some of your ideas too!

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