Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lightning-fast pappardelle

For a dish thrown together in 15 minutes, this was surprisingly good (and attractive, too). Be sure not to overcook anything.

Serves 2

1 package lemon & black pepper pappardelle from Trader Joe's
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bag baby spinach
6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
olive oil
good salt

Heat water for the pasta. Slice the garlic, place it in a pan along with a glug of olive oil, and heat it on low until the garlic starts to sizzle faintly. As soon as it does, turn the heat off and let the garlic cool down in the oil for a few minutes. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and take off any long stems on the spinach.

When the pasta water is boiling, add the pappardelle. When the pappardelle is about halfway cooked, add the cherry tomatoes to the garlic, along with a pinch of salt, and turn the heat on low again. When the pappardelle is done (but still al dente), scoop it out of the water and into the other pan, along with the spinach. Continue to cook everything over low heat, mixing and turning, until the spinach is just wilted (this takes about a minute). If you like, you can serve it with a bit more salt, a grind of pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

If my brother hadn't stolen my digital camera (by losing his, saying he needed mine for a trip, and then never returning it), I'd have a lovely photo to share. The bright colors of this dish are pretty.

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