Posts Tagged ‘spinach


Baked Rigatoni with Peas, Ricotta and Fontina


Baked Rigatoni with Peas, Ricotta and Fontina

The original version of this quick and easy Food and Wine recipe uses spinach.  I substituted peas because that’s what I had.  It was a good combination. I halved the recipe and ended up with 4-6 good-sized servings.



Homemade Spinach Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Asiago

Homemade gnocchi is really more of a production than I thought.  I would say this took 1.5 hours from prep time to plate time.  Maybe it took longer because I was finishing making bagels at the same time.  I used Mario Batali’s Green Gnocchi with Asiago recipe from the Food Network.

I was concerned about too much strong gorgonzola flavor, but mashing it with butter and simmering it really mellowed it out.  I want to try this as a base for other recipes.  I made a few changes to the recipe based on what I had on hand:

1) I did not have any grappa, so just used a little of the red wine I had open.  It turned out fine – the sauce was great, but it did have a funky grey/mauve color, unfortunately.

2) I didn’t have a ricer, so chopped up the potatoes in the food processor.  May have gone a little too far with this – had to add lots of flour to keep the gnocchi from being chewy.

3) Used dried chives and added them to the butter/gorgonzola mixture towards the beginning so they’d have a chance to soften.  Also added about ¼ tsp. dried sage.

Once the gnocchi were done and I added them back into the sauce, I noticed that it was taking a while for them to heat through.  I think I made them a little too large.  I then chopped most of them in half with the spatula.  This helped – gnocchi can be a bit doughy if you get a huge bite and it’s nice to have smaller pieces fully coated with sauce.


Juliet’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

My college roommate Juliet’s mom created this dip and Juliet introduced it to our household junior year at Washington and Lee.  I don’t think we ever had a party without Juliet making her famous dip.  It’s the best spinach-artichoke recipe I’ve ever found and I still make it all the time when we have people over.  I’ve been making this from memory for a while, not really measuring, so it might have morphed a little from the original recipe, but here goes…

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
½ medium onion, minced
1.5 cups shredded Parmesan (you can use the packaged tub from the store, but this tastes even better if you grate it fresh)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 package Knorr’s vegetable soup mix (dry)

Mix all ingredients together well.  Heat through until bubbly, either in the microwave, stopping to stir every few minutes, or in the oven (approximately 15 minutes at 350).  Serve with Tostitos, light crackers, or baguette slices.  By the way, you can use light sour cream and mayo to lighten up the recipe a little. It’s very rich!


Mahogany Short Ribs with Rosemary Noodles and Wilted Spinach Salad

I love this short rib recipe from the Washington Post.  It’s so easy to make and great for a buffet or football party.  The short ribs end up so tender they’ll fall apart on your fork, thanks to the tenderizing secret ingredient, prune juice.  Simple pasta with butter and rosemary is a great complement.  I served this with a wilted spinach salad.  The amounts I made served two with some leftovers.  I garnished the plates with a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary.  Nice how the peppercorns make the short rib look like it has eyes.  That was an accident.

Mahogany Short Ribs

I halved this recipe and used boneless ribs.  I marinated them for two and a half hours instead of all night and they were still fall-apart tender.  The short ribs took about an hour and twenty minutes to cook rather than the full two hours suggested in the recipe.  I sprinkled a few fresh rosemary leaves on top of the short ribs after pouring a little of the sauce on them on top of the noodles.

Pasta with Rosemary and Butter

I made ½ pound of fettuccine and added a tablespoon of butter, a teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary (leaves stripped from stems), and freshly ground sea salt and pepper.  The Washington Post short ribs recipe suggests wide noodles such as pappardelle.

Wilted Spinach Salad

This recipe turned out to be a disappointment.  The dressing was way too thick and lacked the right zing.  There’s no way you should add two tablespoons of flour to the dressing.  I’m not totally convinced there should be any flour.  After making the recipe exactly according to the directions, the dressing was way too thick and “floury.”  I added about 5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one at a time, to thin it out and a tablespoon of honey to counteract the bitterness.  I also added bacon bits, from the bacon cooked to get the drippings, to the final salad for more flavor.  This recipe failed to live up to the wilted spinach salads I remember growing up, but I’ll try it again sometime, probably adding little if any flour.  The dressing should be mainly bacon drippings and vinegar.


Steak Frites with Shallot Pan Reduction and Sautéed Spinach

Steak Frites with Shallot Pan Reduction

This recipe came from Cooking Light.  I normally would have grilled the steak, but a huge rainstorm came through and I didn’t want to go out to the grill.  Perfect opportunity to try out this recipe.

I cooked the steak according to the recipe and it came out fine.  I substituted Cabernet Sauvignon for the brandy because that’s what I had on hand.  The steak would have been just as good if not better without the shallot pan reduction.  It really didn’t add much.

For the frites, I misted them with olive oil instead of cooking spray.  They came out pretty well, but stuck to the bottom of the pan somewhat.  They needed considerably more salt than the recipe called for. These are a great healthier version of fries since they’re oven-baked.

Sautéed Spinach

This recipe is from the Food Network. Since it also contains shallots, it’s a nice complement to the Steak Frites and is also a good way to be efficient with your ingredient list.


As mentioned in the notes accompanying the Cooking Light recipe, Cabernet Sauvignon is a great match for Steak Frites.  We went with Chateau St. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2004.


Oven Fried Chicken, Cheesy Smashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli

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Ricotta and Spinach Tortelloni with Brown Butter, Sage and Parmesan

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