Pasta with Spinach and Red Onions

 

This pasta was beautiful. I know, I made it, and this is not very modest of me, but it really was beautiful. The spinach was a lovely green touch, the red onions were warm and rich, and I added a little dried cranberries and crushed pecans for extra flavor. When I made it, it was a little dry, but this is easily fixed by adding a little stock to the vegetables as you cook them, or a little of the water you cooked the pasta in.

I’ve been a little vague on the measurements for the pasta and spinach because this really depends on you, and how much you want to use. I usually use a handful of pasta for two people. In this case, I used two small fettuccine nests, which made a medium-sized portion for one person. I also used a small bunch of baby spinach. With spinach, remember it really cooks down to about a third (at least!) of its size, so make allowances for that.This recipe is for one serving of pasta — enough for one person.

You need:

  1. 1 small fettuccine nests, or enough pasta for one person
  2. 1 small bunch baby spinach, washed and drained
  3. 2 tbsp crushed pecans or walnuts
  4. 2 tbsp dried sweetened cranberries or raisins
  5. Salt and white pepper to taste (you can use black pepper)
  6. Olive oil for cooking
  7. Romano or parmesan cheese (or any other hard cheese you like to eat over pasta)

How to:

  1. Put six cups of water (or enough to cook the pasta) in a saucepan. Add 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp salt and bring to boil. When it boils, add the pasta. Cool until al dente–cooked through, but when you eat it, it should still be very, very slightly hard, not mushy.
  2. Cut the onions into very thin slices.
  3. Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan (more if your pan is not non-stick). When it is hot, add the onions, Stir and let it cook, stirring occasionally.
  4. Give the spinach a very rough chop (just once or twice).
  5. When the onions are cooked (but before the caramelize), add the spinach. The onions should still be a bit crunchy. Stir the spinach in. Add 1 tsp salt and stir again.
  6. Drain the pasta and arrange on a plate.
  7. When the spinach is just wilted, add the cranberries, pecans, and white pepper. Stir gently. If it is too dry, add a little stock or pasta cooking water and stir gently. If you added too much, let it cook off before you take it off the heat.
  8. Turn off the heat. Arrange the vegetables over the pasta.
  9. Grate romano or parmesan cheese over the top.

 

 

 

Cranberry Apple Sauce

You need: 1 bag fresh cranberries (about 2-3 cups); 1 sweet apple; 1 cup water; 1 cup sugar.

How to:

  1. Peel and chop the apple into very small pieces.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the cranberries and apple and stir.
  4. Cover and cook on medium heat for about ten minutes, or until the sauce thickens. It will thicken more when cooled, so do factor that in.

Spring Goodies Salad

You need: 1 bag mixed spring greens (baby spinach, lettuce, arugula, et cetera), 1 orange, 1 piece ginger root, a handful of dried or fresh cranberries, 2-3 small red radishes, anything else you fancy in your salad.

How to:

Wash the radishes well. Slice the tops and bottoms off and cut into thin slices. (If you want to keep the greens, I’m going to experiment tomorrow with cooking them).

Cut the orange in half, along the segments, not across them. That means, cut it from top to bottom, not across it’s middle. Juice one half, and peel the other. Remove the white portion from the segments, and any seeds.

Put the greens in a big salad bowl. Add the radish and orange segments. Also the cranberries, and anything else you want to add.

Grate 1 tsp ginger into the orange juice. Mix well.

Pour the orange/ginger dressing over the salad before serving.