Pasta with Fresh Spinach and Tomato Basil Marinara
Healthy and Tasty and Easy!
Yum Factor FIVE!
This recipe uses fresh spinach with a pasta to make a toothsome and flavor packed healthy dinner in just minutes.
This is very easy to put together after a day at work. The pasta and the spinach will cook at the same time. Hold the spinach in the pot to keep it warm while the pasta cooks. This gives you the time to pull together the few other ingredients.
The hot pasta will make the canned (or garden tomatoes) warm enough for the dish. The spinach is already hot. Even though the picture shows the spinach on one side of the dish, I toss the spinach and onion mixture in the dish before serving.
Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top but be sure to serve a small dish of parmesan cheese on the table. Also, grind some fresh pepper on the dish at the table.
It is a lively flavored dish with plenty of fresh vegetable pow.
- 5 C. fresh, Spinach
- 1 C. chopped onions
- thin pasta for four
- 1 can tomatoes with basil
- 6 leaves fresh basil
- 2 drizzles (or more) basil flavored olive oil
- 1/2 C. parmesan cheese
Saute Onions and Chiffonade Fresh Basil
Spinach Cooks in Three Batches
Easy to Make
- Wash and dry the Spinach. Be sure to get all the sand out of the Spinach. No need to chop if the leaves are smaller. If spinach has not been pre-washed, read below for a sure fire way of cleaning farmer's market spinach.
- Chop up the onion. Place the onion in a Dutch Oven on already warmed up cooking oil. (vegetable mixed with a lower grade of olive oil is fine)
- Boil pasta water. Add pasta and boil per instructions.
- Once the onions are soft, begin adding hands full of the spinach. The spinach will cook down. The spinach has enough water in it, so you should not need anymore water. But if you do, take a tablespoon or two from the pasta water. Cook the spinach for only as long as needed to wilt the leaves. Overcooking will diminish nutrients.
- Wash and roll the fresh basil leaves. Slice them making a chiffonade (strings) of fresh basil. Open the can of tomatoes with basil.
- Drain the pasta once it is cooked. And toss both the tomatoes and the fresh basil with the pasta. Drizzle a bit of basil flavored olive oil on this.
- Take the cooked spinach and toss with the pasta mixture. Add parmesan cheese.
- Serve with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Pasta Ready for Tossing
Tomatoes and Basil Ready to Toss
The new word of the day is chiffonade. This means to cut the herbs or vegetables in thin strips.
In the case of the basil leaves, wash them and roll them together and then cut them into thin strips.
Chiffonade is a French term that means rags. It is not be be confused with the French word Chiffonier which means a small chest for hanging clothing in.
Oh those, French.
Popeye Eats His Spinach and hits people!
Buy green healthy leaves of spinach at the grocery store. I prefer the smaller leaves of spinach as they require less cooking. Cooking the spinach too long will diminish the nutrients in spinach. Unless the spinach has been triple washed, you will need to wash the spinach carefully yourself. Spinach will grow quite well in a sandy soil and because of this the spinach may have sand in the leaves.
An easy way to wash spinach is to rinse it in a colander and then fill a clean sink with clean water. Toss the spinach in the sink, stir the whole sink, and then let the spinach and water sit until the water is still. Then remove the spinach from the water carefully, do not stir up the water. The heavier sand will fall to the bottom of the sink. Rinse the spinach and repeat the procedure if you feel you need to do so.
Spinach is a very tasty and healthy vegetable. Unfortunately, the canned spinach is a green gloppy strong tasting goo. Fresh spinach is a lively crisp vegetable that may be prepared many ways.
Spinach is high in nutritional benefits. It is packed full of vitamin A (lutein which is a reason it is good for your eyesight), vitamin E, and vitamin K. Spinach is a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, and omega 3 fatty acids.
The nutrient packed spinach should not be boiled too long as that will reduce the health benefits of the spinach. That is why the younger smaller spinach leaves are easier to work with. Notice that the spinach in this recipe is gently cooked and remains bright green.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, spinach 'may promote gastrointestinal health, healthy vision, and help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, and inflammatory disorders.' http://www.drweilblog.com/home/2010/5/2/a-note-on-spinach.html
Popeye the Sailor Man got his strength from eating his spinach. Poor Popeye, too bad he didn't have someone like you to make him some delectable spinach and pasta. The fresh spinach tastes so much better!