Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Green Spaghetti

One of our "cooking without recipes" dinners; I make this when I have some bits and pieces of dairy products kicking around the fridge. A sample list of ingredients would be a bag of spinach or a package of frozen chopped spinach (fresh is better, but cut out any big stems); pasta of choice (we use whole wheat spaghetti); a cupful of cottage cheese, a few spoonfuls of Parmesan, a cupful of grated Mozzarella, a quarter cup of cream cheese, and a bit of milk if needed; garlic powder and a grind of pepper. The cream cheese is optional but it seems to give it a good texture. (I think you could manage a non-dairy version of this with whatever tofu/soy cheese mixture you like that approximates a bowlful of cottage cheese and shredded cheese mixture.)

In a large pot (so you only need one), steam the spinach for a few minutes. If you've just washed it, it will cook just in the water that's still on the leaves. Drain in a colander. Using a stick-type blender or a food processor, blend the cooked spinach with all the remaining ingredients except the pasta. You should have a bowl full of green gloppy stuff, but don't make it any wetter than it has to be to blend nicely. (When we first started making this, we followed a recipe that used more milk, but we always found the sauce was too sloppy.)

Cook the spaghetti or other pasta in the big pot, and when it's ready, mix it with the green sauce. Serve immediately.

One warning about this: it's easy to make and kids like it better than you'd expect (two of mine asked recently for Green Spaghetti, so we had it last night). BUT it does stick to the plates and the blending bowl. Volunteer for the cooking and let somebody else do the dishes. ;-)

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