Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Spinach and pasta is delightful, filling

Some food combinations are just so good and comforting.  If you make a good pasta, add to it spinach that has been sautéed with a little garlic, anointed with good olive oil and some Parmesan,  and you will find the result delightful, filling and nutritious.

The spinach is so healthy, green and leafy, exactly what the doctors tell us we need to be eating more of. It cooks in seconds and is quite affordable. You do not have to use baby spinach, it hardly makes a difference.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is the king of cheeses, as agreed upon by most cheese experts. It comes only from Emilia-Romagna in Italy, nowhere else. What you buy in the green jar is not even close to the real thing. Parmigiano-Reggiano is a skimmed cow's milk, unpasteurized, hard, pressed cheese, with an inedible rind. A wheel of this marvelous stuff can weigh as much as 80 pounds. Save the leftover bits of rind that still have a little cheese attached, and add it to your tomato sauce. It imparts a delightful flavor and will make your frugal heart sing.

1 package Riscossa pasta (spaghetti, fettuccini, or linguini)

1 bag fresh spinach

2-3 cloves chopped garlic

Red pepper flakes

Extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the pasta according to package directions, drain, but reserve a cup or two of the pasta water. Add a little extra virgin olive oil to the pot, along with a good pinch of red pepper flakes, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add in the spinach and toss until it is wilted. Add a little of the pasta water, cover and steam until done, it will be just a minute or two.  Drain off any excess water, add the spinach and toss, add more EVOO if you like and lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano.