Nothing beats the winter blues like a warm hearty, healthy bowl of pasta. It's been one of those weeks...and it's only Tuesday. I bundled up to make my rounds: first stop at the local deli for the fresh ingredients, then to Murray's Cheese for homemade pasta, gourmet cheeses and, of course, something chocolate for dessert. I came home, opened a bottle of Elizabeth Spencer Napa wine, put on the classics (Nina Simone!!) and started boiling the water.
Spinach, White Bean and Pecorino Pasta
What you need:
* 4 ounces whole-wheat fusilli
* 4 cups baby spinach
* 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 can cannellini beans, rinsed
* 1 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 cup shredded fresh pecorino romano
* 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (you can toast and make fresh or use ready-made)
What to do:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach during the last 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Dry the pot.
Whisk broth and flour in a small bowl until smooth. Heat oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, until it thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Add beans, vinegar, salt and pepper and the pasta and spinach. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat; add cheese, stirring until it melts. Serve immediately, topped with breadcrumbs. Serves 2.
Sit back, relax, and settle in. This is a pasta dish that will bring you comfort at the end of a cold bitter day.