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. Arden Says:

    These are in fact enormous ideas in about blogging. You have touched some nice things here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.

    Also visit my blog :: cs go skins trade up contract – Arden,

  2. silk lash extensions calgary Says:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog.
    You have some really great posts and I think I
    would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some
    of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for your blog in exchange
    for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested.
    Many thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my web page silk lash extensions calgary

  3. Augusto de Arruda Botelho Says:

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  4. Kellie Says:

    This post is invaluable. How can I find out more?

  5. Stefan Says:

    It’s amazing for me to have a web site, which is beneficial in favor of my know-how.
    thanks admin

    Feel free to surf to my webpage; nba mobile coins reddit – Stefan,

  6. Leonie Says:

    Someone necessarily lend a hand to make severely
    articles I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and
    up to now? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular put up incredible.
    Wonderful job!

  7. Virgie Says:

    Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your
    website, how could i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  8. creditos rapidos y sin papeleos Says:

    creditos rapidos y sin papeleos
    http://fang-sheng.net/forum/home.php?mod=space&uid=299711&do=profile
    http://bbs.fzuky.com/space-uid-827202.html
    http://ngtweb.info/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/150072/Default.aspx
    http://glawpc.com/UserProfile/tabid/43/UserID/197849/Default.aspx

  9. http://www.technocreats.org/index.php?title=User:JulienneDowie Says:

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access
    consistently fast.

  10. Tory Says:

    Have you ever thought about writing an e-book
    or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered
    on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would value your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me
    an email.

    my homepage: fifa coins ps4 account (Tory)

  11. Kirby Says:

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you actually
    recognise what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked.
    Kindly also discuss with my website =). We could have a hyperlink alternate contract
    between us

  12. Arnette Says:

    I’ll immediately seize your rss feed as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please let me understand so that I may
    subscribe. Thanks.

    Feel free to surf to my site – cs go weapon skins steam – Arnette

  13. Meridith Says:

    Hi I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by accident,
    while I was searching on Google for something else, Regardless I am here
    now and would just like to say many thanks for a remarkable post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but
    I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more,
    Please do keep up the great job.

    My webpage; madden mobile coins cheap [Meridith]

  14. fifa coins zone code Says:

    Hey there! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a
    theme or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Thank you!

    Feel free to surf to my webpage: fifa coins zone code

  15. Jacklyn Says:

    I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it
    yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

  16. Marty Says:

    Asking questions are truly nice thing if you are not understanding anything totally, however
    this post gives fastidious understanding even.

    Also visit my weblog … silk lashes review; Marty,

  17. Adrienne Says:

    I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your information. Your article has really peaked my interest.
    I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once a week.

    I subscribed to your Feed too.

    Here is my web blog – pubg weapons (Adrienne)

  18. mink eyelash extensions kitchener Says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so
    much about this, like you wrote the book in it
    or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit,
    but other than that, this is magnificent blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site … mink eyelash extensions kitchener

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