I've been feeling a bit like a blog failure. I don't answer my comments in a timely manner, or visit my favorite blogs as often as I would like. Things are very scattered in my life, and I apologize to everyone who has taken the time to leave comments. You can't know how much I appreciate reading them. Cooking food is a challenge for me right now. My enthusiasm for preparing food is on the wane. But, my desire to eat a good meal is as strong as ever. I find myself eyeing recipes that boast of being easy, and requiring no more than 30 minutes to prepare. But, ease and speed in preparation mustn't sacrifice good taste. And this recipe for spicy spinach pasta fit my current cooking requirements. It took about 11 minutes to prepare, but was so full of flavor, it was hard to limit myself to a reasonable serving. It's full of garlic, basil and cheese, with a nice kick from crushed red pepper. You can leave out the red pepper if you like. But, don't skimp on the garlic and basil. It tastes marvelous, and will envelope you with a garlicky smell announcing your presence to everyone before they see you. Some people don't like the smell of garlic. Well, they better not hang around me, because I often reek of it.
This is a great recipe for Presto Pasta Night, which was created by the lovely Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. Each week Ruth has a Roundup of recipes posted by pasta lovers from all over the world. Drop by her site and check them out.
By the way, I used dried spinach linquine, and it had a lovely green color, which isn't apparent from the photo. But, green it was!
Spicy Spinach Pasta With Garlic And Basil
Bon Appétit (February 2007)
12 ounces spinach linguine
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or water from cooking the pasta
1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot.
While the pasta is cooking or after it has been cooked and drained, heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup basil, garlic, and crushed red pepper; stir 1 minute. Add wine (or pasta cooking water) and boil until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add mixture from skillet, remaining 1/2 cup basil, and 3/4 cup cheese to pasta. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved pasta liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if the pasta seems dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings. (I ate mine as a main dish.)