dinner in twenty minutes

February 15th, 2008

spinach pasta

People often lament their lack of time to cook a nice meal for dinner, opting for takeout instead. Lord knows, I’ve been known to do the same. When you come home from work at 7:oo or later, cooking is the last thing on your mind. My first instinct is to curl up on the couch and watch a silly science fiction show with my husband and dog, munching on whatever happens to be in the refrigerator or whatever we can get from the local tacqueria without waiting in line with the rest of the neighborhood. Other times I look at the beautiful vegetables I bought at the farmers’ market and think it would be a shame for them to go to waste. I mean look at that chard… its succulent, deep green leaves, its sturdy stalk. Can’t you just feel its crunch between your teeth? Can’t you taste the garlic clove in the butter in which you’ll wilt it? How long would it really take to turn that beauty into dinner? It’s that moment when I change my mind and get to cooking something fast.

Here’s a little something I threw together the other night. I’m not sure whether it took me twenty minutes, as I spent some time perusing the fridge and cobbling together the shape of the meal. The base is pasta, with a sauce of spinach and goat cheese and a bit of ground cayenne pepper to liven it up.

quick pasta with spinach goat cheese sauce

I used savoy, or curly leaf spinach for this pasta dish. The leaves are small, curly and somewhat more waxy than ordinary spinach. As a result, it releases less moisture during cooking and wilts a little less. It also has a slightly nutty flavor which goes nicely with the pine nuts. You could use ordinary fresh spinach just as well, but you’ll probably have to add back less or none of the pasta water. I used goat butter to go with the goat cheese, but that’s because I had it on hand. Feel free to use any butter you like. As usual, measurements are approximate.

short pasta, enough for 2 (about 1/2 lb or 250 g usually works, including leftovers)
olive oil and butter
1-2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper
1 lb or 1/2 kg savoy spinach
3-5 oz. fresh chèvre
handful of pine nuts
salt and pepper
ground cayenne pepper

  1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the water. An easy way to do this is to place your pasta colander in a large bowl in the sink and pour your pasta into the colander. You’ll have plenty of leftover pasta water in the bowl beneath the colander. Be sure to move the colander elsewhere so that the pasta stops cooking. Dress the pasta with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking.
  2. In a pot or large pan over a low to medium flame, melt some butter with olive oil. As it heats, coarsely chop the garlic and finely chop the red pepper.
  3. When the oil and butter are hot, add the garlic and stir. When the garlic is almost golden, add the red pepper and stir. Let the pepper cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time and stir. Let it cook down a bit (say for a minute or two), then add the goat cheese in pieces.
  5. Stir the mixture so that the goat cheese melds with the liquids in the pan. If the sauce is a bit dry, add in a little reserved pasta water. It can be as creamy or thin as you like.
  6. Add the pine nuts. Alternatively, you can toast the pine nuts briefly in another pan, and then add them.
  7. Add some of the pasta back into the pan and mix with sauce. (I served this sauce on top of the pasta, instead of mixing it back in. But I think it might be better mixed in the pan.)
  8. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Taste and correct seasoning.

Serves 2, with a little leftover for lunch the next day.

No Responses to “dinner in twenty minutes”

  1. credit card debt Says:

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I am waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

  2. sales life Says:

    If you wish for to increase your know-how simply keep visiting this
    website and be updated with the most recent news posted here.

  3. infections triggered Says:

    I was able to find good information from your
    blog posts.

  4. financial aid Says:

    For the reason that the admin of this web page is working, no hesitation very shortly it will
    be famous, due to its feature contents.

  5. financial advisor grand rapids Says:

    whoah this blog is excellent i really like studying your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You understand, a lot of persons are searching round
    for this information, you could help them greatly.

  6. Charissa Says:

    Generally I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this
    write-up very compelled me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
    Thanks, very nice article.

  7. car computer exchange Says:

    This piece of writing will help the internet people for setting up new blog or even a weblog from start to end.

  8. Lamont Says:

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be
    just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you
    write concerning here. Again, awesome web log!

  9. car computer exchange Says:

    Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of
    spam feedback? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can advise?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any
    assistance is very much appreciated.

  10. financial advisors stands Says:

    I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did,
    the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  11. retirement calculator Says:

    Wow, this article is fastidious, my sister is analyzing such things, thus I am going to convey her.

  12. Nicole Says:

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity concerning unpredicted emotions.

  13. reputable financial Says:

    Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would
    appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested,
    feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  14. money having Says:

    I for all time emailed this blog post page to all my friends, for the reason that if like
    to read it next my friends will too.

  15. emergency repair calls Says:

    I’m curious to find out what blog system you are utilizing?

    I’m having some small security issues with my latest blog and I would
    like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any suggestions?

  16. Aracely Says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about food. Regards

  17. Brad Says:

    Right here is the perfect website for anyone who hopes
    to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would
    want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which
    has been written about for years. Great stuff, just wonderful!

  18. Andres Says:

    I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more
    or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  19. dining sets Says:

    Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thanks a lot!

  20. unit varies Says:

    If some one wishes to be updated with most up-to-date technologies then he
    must be pay a visit this site and be up to date every day.

  21. heating and air conditioning systems Says:

    I all the time used to read paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of internet thus from now I am using net for
    articles, thanks to web.

  22. automotive repair Says:

    Asking questions are truly pleasant thing if you are not understanding
    something entirely, but this post offers pleasant understanding even.

Leave a Reply

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
Creative Commons License