Friday, February 26, 2010

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Pasta is my favorite meal to cook and eat. It's quick, versatile and delicious! Last night I was in the mood for a pasta with simple ingredients, a little decadence and a lot of flavor, so I turned to one of my favorite go-to pastas, Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Also known as Bacon and Egg Pasta, Carbonara is a rich sauce made with eggs and Parmesan cheese and accented with bacon and garlic. It would be fantastic for brunch too! The sauce is so easy to make it will be finished before your done boiling the noodles. Talk about fast food! Enjoy this delicious pasta with a glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Creamy, rich, decadent AND quick and easy to make!

1/2 pound dry spaghetti
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Note- Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm. Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the bacon and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Add a little of the warm cooking water and stir rapidly to temper the eggs. 

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Prosciutto & Gouda Wrapped Chicken, Balsamic & Brown Butter Gnocchi, and Warm Spinach Salad

Cooking dinner is my favorite part of the day. After a day filled with commuting, working, exercising, errands, etc., there is nothing more relaxing and fun than to go into the kitchen, pour a big glass of red wine, and make a fabulous dinner for myself and my fiance Kevin. I think one of my favorite things about cooking is that I get to decide what I want to eat, and can whip up whatever I'm hungry for. As nice as it is not have someone else cook for me, I love to be able to control what I'm eating and how it's made. It's a great feeling!

Last night I was hungry for a real heart-warming meal with tons of different flavors and textures. Prosciutto and Gouda Wrapped Chicken was perfect- tender chicken topped with smokey, creamy Gouda cheese and wrapped in sweet and salty prosciutto. Heaven! Alongside I served gnocchi in a warm brown butter and balsamic vinegar sauce, and the sweetness from the balsamic was perfectly balanced by the mellow and rich brown butter. I had a big bunch of spinach I wanted to use, and there is no better way to get extra spinach on a plate than to cook it down. I added lots of onions, garlic and bacon, and to finish the dressing I used sugar and, yes, more balsamic vinegar. This meal was so fun to make! And eating wasn't too bad either! :)

Prosciutto and Gouda Wrapped Chicken with Balsamic Butter Gnocchi and a Warm Spinach Salad
Smokey cheese and salty prosciutto wrapped around sweet and succulent chicken. 
Serves 2

2 chicken breasts, placed in storage bag and pounded with meat mallet until even in thickness
2 slices prosciutto
2 slices Gouda cheese
1 tsp. rosemary
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & pepper

1 package gnocchi
3 T. butter
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt & pepper

2 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 sweet onion or shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sugar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 bunch spinach, 10 oz.
Kosher salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat chicken in balsamic vinegar, then olive oil. Season chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper and let stand 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for gnocchi. Salt water and drop gnocchi in water. Cook 3 minutes or until gnocchis float to top of water, and are al dente.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 4 minutes per side, until browned on the outside but not fully cooked through. The balsamic vinegar will produce a deep brown, sweet finish on the chicken as it cooks. Remove the chicken from the skillet into an oven-safe dish. Top each with a slice of Gouda cheese and wrap with prosciutto. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through and cheese is beginning to melt.

When the chicken is 2 or 3 minutes away from done, heat a second skillet over medium low to medium heat. To the second skillet, add butter to the pan and let it begin to brown. 

When the butter for the gnocchi has browned, add cooked gnocchi to the pan and turn in butter to heat through. Add balsamic vinegar to the ravioli and cook a minute or 2 longer to reduce the vinegar and glaze the gnocchi. The vinegar will become thick and syrup like. Add cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to the pasta and remove the pan from the heat, covering to keep warm.  

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet over medium high heat and add the bacon and brown for about 2 or 3 minutes, then transfer to paper towels to drain and return pan to heat, reducing heat to medium. Add oil, garlic and onions to the pan and saute 2 minutes. 

To the sauteed onions and garlic for the spinach salad, add sugar and cook 1 minute. Add vinegar to the pan, scraping up pan drippings. Add spinach to the dressing and turn to wilt and coat it evenly in sweet vinaigrette. Add bacon to the salad. 

Serve chicken along side gnocchi and spinach salad, all on the same dinner plate.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mexican Fiesta! Beef Enchiladas, Prosciutto & Apricot Quesadillas, Sweet Onion Corn Bread, Black Bean Salsa & Guacamole

My family visited this weekend and I had the pleasure of cooking dinner for them on Friday night. As many of you know, my sister Lisa is dating a Mexican man and spends a lot of time south of the border, so she really knows her Mexican comida! My parents are I are planning a trip to Guadalajara with her in April, and we cannot wait to experience Mexico with Lisa as our tour guide! In the meantime, I decided to create a meal with some of my favorite Mexican flavors. Authentic or not, it sure was delicioso!

Quesadillas, enchiladas, rice, guacamole and black bean salsa. Mmmm mmmm mmmm!

Beef Enchiladas
A hearty and happy Mexican entree!
Serves 6-8

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
2 cups Chicken Broth
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro

1-½ pound Ground Beef
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
½ teaspoons Salt

10 whole (to 14) Corn Tortillas
½ cups Canola Oil

3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
½ cups Chopped Black Olives
1 cup Chopped Green Onions
½ cups Chopped Cilantro

Step #1 – The Sauce
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

Step #2 – The Meat
Brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

Step #3 – Tortillas
Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

Step #4 – Assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas before serving.

Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks,

Prosciutto and Apricot Quesadillas
Sweet, salty and special! 
Serves 6 as an appetizer

4 large flour tortillas
4 T. apricot jam
8 thin slices prosciutto
Mozzarella or Brie cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

Heat griddler or large non-stick pan over medium heat.

To assemble quesadillas spread one tablespoon apricot jam on each tortilla. Top two tortillas with prosciutto and cheese and cover with additional tortillas. Brush olive oil on outer tortillas and grill for 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Sweet Onion Corn Bread
Corn bread kicked up a notch!
Makes 16 muffins

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package cornbread mix
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan or muffin tin with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion until tender, but not browned, for about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the muffin mix, egg, milk, sour cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the salt, and dill weed. Stir to combine. 

Pour into the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares or removing from muffin tin.

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Black Bean Salsa
A healthful and fun accompaniment 
Serves 6

1 chopped tomato
1 can black beans
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1/2 large fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 chopped garlic clove
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Crispy corn tortilla chips

Combine the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lime juice and olive oil. Mix well. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve with the chips. 

Classic, smooth, delicious
Serves 6

2 ripe avocados
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/2 c. red onions, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Scoop avocado pulp into medium bowl and mash with fork. Add all remaining ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Menu starring Penne Bolognese and Chocolate Mousse, with Romaine Sweet Hearts and Roasted Garlic Potatoes

While Kevin and I really don't celebrate this Hallmark holiday, we always use it as an excuse to have a delicious meal and open a special bottle of wine. This year both the meal and the wine were the best EVER! I made a homemade bolognese sauce, and it was divine. Bolognese is a rich meat and tomato sauce that is simmered on the stovetop for a couple hours, imparting a rich earthiness and making the house smell amazing! Emeril's bolognese recipe called for a couple secret ingredients- cinnamon and nutmeg- and they really made the sauce incredible by adding a rich depth of flavor and smoky sweetness. The sauce was so delicious that I could have eaten it with a spoon!

Along with the pasta I served garlic bread, roasted broccoli, and roasted garlic potatoes, which were a delicious warm version of a potato salad with a flavorful and unique roasted garlic vinaigrette. As an appetizer I made a super cute salad called Romaine Sweet Hearts that featured avocado, artichokes and pomegranate seeds. And you can't forget dessert! The Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries was a delicious, light and flavorful end to the meal. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

Bolognese Sauce with Penne Pasta
Rich, thick, and meaty, this sauce is a star!
Serves 10 (make a big batch and freeze the leftovers!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound ground beef or ground veal
1/2 pound pork sausage, removed from the casings, or ground pork
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and their juice
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup beef or chicken stock or broth
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 pound penne or your favorite noodle
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beef and sausages, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato sauce, beef broth, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the cream, butter, and parsley, stir well, and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to blend. Divide among pasta bowls and serve with the cheese passed tableside. (Alternatively, toss only the desired portion of pasta with a bit of the sauce at a time in a serving bowl, reserving the remainder for another meal.)

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

Romaine Sweet Hearts
A special salad for a special someone!
Serves 2

3 T. mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh mint OR combination fresh parsley and dill
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 avocado, chopped
4 T. pomegranate seeds
4 leaves romaine lettuce from the heart
Salt, to taste

In a medium bowl stir together the mayonnaise, herbs and lemon juice. Add the artichoke hearts and avocado and toss to combine. Season with salt. Spoon the salad onto the lettuce leaves and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top.

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

Potatoes with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
A perfect side packed with bright garlic flavor
Serves 2

2 T. olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 baking potatoes or 4 new potatoes, quartered
2 T. minced chives
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 1 T. olive oil with a large pinch of salt and a small pinch of pepper, garlic, and potatoes in a greased roasting pan or jelly roll pan; toss well to coat. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until tender, stirring after 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

Squeeze garlic cloves to extract pulp. Discard skins. Combine garlic pulp, 1 T. olive oil, more slat and pepper, chives, vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Stir well with a whisk. Add potatoes to bowl; toss well to coat.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Chocolate Mousse with Freshly Whipped Cream and Strawberries
A creamy and ultra-satisfying end to a meal
Serves 4 

1 1/2 bar dark chocolate (3.5 oz. size)
1/4 c. strong prepared cooled coffee
4 fresh eggs
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Break the chocolate and put the chunks in a bowl. Place the bowl over boiling water until the chocolate has melted. Add the cooled coffee, and fold in the egg yolks one at a time.

Beat the egg whites into a hard foam in a separate bowl, then add it to the chocolate and mix. Allow to cool in the fridge.

Before serving make whipped cream by beating the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until it reaches your desired consistency.

Serve a dollop of whipped cream on top of mousse with fresh strawberries. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from IKEA food

Wine of the Night
"The Poet" 2005
Cosentino Winery
Meritage Napa Valley Red Wine

The Poet is Cosentino Winery's flagship wine, and it is the first recognized American Meritage. "Meritage" is a name for a Bordeaux-blend of grapes that are grown on non-French soil. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot is exquisite. When Kevin and I were in Napa we tasted this wine and then joined Cosentino's wine club because it is just that amazing. (They also have many other fantastic wines!)It is deep ruby in color, exhibits tart cherry and currants up front, and evolves into a long spicy finish. A bright balanced wine with structure and richness. At $75 it is a very special occasion wine, so be sure to savor every sip! 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bruschetta Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing

Bruschetta and salad are two of my favorite foods, and I love to enjoy both at once in a delicious bruschetta salad. All of the normal ingredients I put on my bruschetta goes on the salad, and I serve it with garlic bread on the side to scoop up the delicious toppings. It's a perfect way to enjoy two of my favorites. And the best part? The dressing! I make a simple balsamic reduction and combine it with oil, vinegar, honey and dijon, and drizzle it over the salad. It is sweet and satisfying, and really pulls the salad together. This meal is a great way to use up any veggies and cheese you have in the fridge, just pile them on! Don't like the ingredients I used? Swap them out to make your ideal salad, and enjoy!

Bruschetta Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing and Garlic Bread
Delicious fresh veggies and garlic bread served together for a yummy meal!

Garlic Bread
Ciabatta or French bread
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Garlic Clove, peeled and cut in half

Sweet Balsamic Dressing
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste

2 c. romaine or red leaf lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. red onion, diced
1/2 small avocado, diced
Handful of feta, goat or blue cheese
1 egg, hard boiled and chopped (optional)
Olives, sliced (optional)

To make garlic bread preheat oven to broil. Slice bread and drizzle each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place under broiler 1-2 minutes until lightly browned on top. Rub with garlic clove immediately to impart garlic flavor. 

To make the dressing simmer balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat until slightly reduced, about 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't go too far. Pour into a bowl and add vinegar, honey and dijon, and whisk in olive oil until combined. Add salt and pepper and reserve. Whisk again before topping salad.

Combine salad ingredients minus cheese on a large plate. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Top with cheese and extra cracked black pepper. Serve with garlic bread on the side and a big glass of white wine.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Succulent Shrimp Scampi

Lately I've posted a lot of pasta recipes, but who am I kidding, I love pasta! Especially in the winter when I need something filling, warming and satisfying, pasta is my go-to comfort food. While it is not commonly known as "health food," I believe pasta gets a bad rap. Pasta noodles in fact are virtually fat free, so the "bad for you" only happens when poor-quality and high-fat ingredients are added. While these ingredients certainly have their place, I love making pasta dishes that are healthful, flavorful and satisfying, allowing me to eat pasta regularly without a tinge of guilt! Last night I put my own twist on Tyler Florence's shrimp scampi, a pretty healthy recipe made even better with whole wheat pasta. (If you haven't tried whole wheat pasta lately do it! It is so tasty and loaded with fiber, and it hardly tastes any different than regular pasta!) I loved the recipe- succulent shrimp on a bed of whole wheat fettuccine bathed in a light lemon and wine sauce with tons of sweet onion, parsley, garlic and a hint of crushed red pepper to really bring the flavor to the next level. Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi
Fresh, light and healthful shrimp with whole wheat pasta
Serves 4

1 pound whole wheat fettuccine (or your favorite long noodle)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 sweet yellow onion (or 2 shallots) finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the fettuccine. Stir to make sure the pasta separates. Cook a minute or two shy of package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. 

This meal is delicious served with a simple, colorful side salad, such as the one that I created using red leaf lettuce, feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, avocado and crispy onions in a sundried tomato vinaigrette. Be creative! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Penne with Spinach Pesto

There's nothing better than a weekend at home with nothing on the agenda, and one of my favorite things to do on these rare occasions is make up a big batch of pasta. While hanging out in the fridge all weekend the flavors combine and it gets more and more tasty. It's so nice to have delicious, healthy food on hand, and pasta is always my go-to! This version is made with tons of fresh spinach, so there is no reason not to munch on it all weekend!

Penne with Spinach Pesto
A creamy, healthy sauce for yummy pasta!
Serves 6

1 pound penne
3 garlic cloves
2 ounces goat cheese
1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and half of the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.
Meanwhile, place the remaining spinach leaves in a large bowl.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta atop the spinach leaves in the bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve.  Recipe courtesy of Giada Delaurentis

Add your favorite meat and make it a meal!