Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pasta with Spinach, Grapes and Nuts

My husband works hard. Sometimes, when he comes home, I think he's a little delirious from doing construction all day. Two nights ago, as he was eating dinner, friends came over and he offered them some pasta.
"It's good. It has chicken..."
"No chicken." I interject.
"It's got fish..." he tried again.
"No fish."
"Well, what is the meat then?"
"No meat."
"Whaaaat?" (Inspects bowl of pasta incredulously, looking for signs of meat).

Your family might notice the absence of meat, but David didn't. I think the toasty nuts, butter, and Parmesan signaled "Protein! Protein!" to his brain.  The original recipe asks for raisins soaked in hot water for a few minutes, but I had some grapes I needed to use up. Some people think sweet and salty dishes are a mixed metaphor. I am not one of them.

That being said, this is good, but it's not my favorite pasta dish. Just want to be honest here. On another note...
I'm wondering if I should be concerned that my husband can't taste the difference between chicken and fish?

 Chilled Pasta with Spinach, Grapes and Nuts
1 c. grapes, sliced very thinly
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches spinach, trimmed

1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lb. fettuccine or spaghetti noodles
1 c. (4 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. toasted mixed nuts, chopped finely
2 ears of corn, boiled and corn cut off cob
1 tbsp. minced fresh chives
2 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Continue cooking butter until golden brown, stirring constantly (7 minutes). Add minced garlic and spinach. Cook until spinach is tender and wilted, stirring frequently (2 minutes). Stir in grapes and lemon juice. Add fettuccine to boiling water and cook until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta.Transfer to large bowl. Add spinach mixture, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, nuts, corn and herbs. Toss thoroughly. Season pasta with salt and pepper. Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.

I tossed some zucchini in there too...because I could. :)

I tried this dish both hot and cold. Hot is way better than cold. Just letting you know in case you were wondering.


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