Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
This is a simple twist on pasta that’s easy to make, and tastes fantastic. The recipe was inspired by a dish from an Italian restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn. They charged $15 for this; here’s how to reproduce it at home for less. The ingredients shouldn’t run you more than $10, or less if you don’t buy organic, and this recipe feeds two.
Nutritional facts: Since mushrooms and pasta have all the amino acids needed to make a complete protein, and spinach has plenty of iron, this is a great filling dish for people who don’t eat too many animal products.
Total preparation and cook time: 30 minutes.
Serves: 2 people.
- 1/2 package spaghetti – whole wheat is healthier, white pasta tastes better; your call which to use.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- One bag of pre-washed spinach, or one bunch of unwashed spinach.
- Approximately 1/2 to 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms (I prefer Baby Bella mushrooms for this recipe, but any kind will do).
- Optional: a small container of greek olives.
Preparation (10-15 minutes):
- Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
- While water is boiling, carefully rinse the spinach.
- Peel and mince the garlic.
- Rinse the mushrooms, and chop into cubes.
- If using olives, cut out the pits and discard.
Cooking (10-15 minutes):
- When water has boiled, add pasta. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until soft; then drain and remove to a large dish.
(Note: the longer you boil pasta, the higher the glycemic index will be, meaning the quicker your body will convert it to sugar. If you’re watching your sugar intake, you might want to go al dente.)
- While the pasta is cooking, put a medium-sized pan on the stove and turn the flame on medium-low. Rinse the spinach and shake off the excess water, then put it on the pan, and cook in the water that clings to the spinach.
- Let the spinach cook for 1-2 minutes, then add up to 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, and toss in the garlic. Lower the flame slightly, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the garlic turns slightly brown, add the mushrooms, and olives if you’re using those. Lower the flame, and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender, then remove from pan.
(Note: watch the spinach. If it looks like it’s done before the mushrooms are, pick the spinach out of the pan and put it on a dish to avoid overcooking it.)
- Toss the pasta with the mushroom and spinach. (If you’re not watching your fat intake, you might want to drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil over the pasta for added flavor.) Let it cool off, then eat!