Friday, May 8, 2009

Pasta + anything = dinner.

When the sun finally broke through the clouds after a week of solid gray, I knew the time was right for a pre-dinner hike. I had only to burst through the door and day to Patrick: "CV?"

He looked up from his pedal steel just long enough to nod.

Ten minutes later we were out the door and off to "CV," Chenango Valley State Park.

This post really isn't about the hike, though. It's about what we cooked after the hike. With our empty stomachs baring their hungry teeth, and the light fading precipitously (as you can tell by the picture), we needed food, and fast.

But lo, for yesterday I had made a much-anticipated pilgrimage back to Frog Pond, my local produce mecca, and returned with a pound of beautiful fresh spinach, from across the border in Pennsylvania. With a recipe from Moosewood Kitchen Garden for inspiration, the pasta water was heating and the spinach was soon on its way to wilting.

Pasta with Spinach, sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a little feta

1 lb pasta-- we used orechiette (which means "little ears" in Latin, isn't that cool?) but really, anything would work.
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
2 tbsp butter
4 scallions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 lb fresh spinach, large stems removed, torn into pieces
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped basil, dill, or tarragon
2 oz crumbled feta, or more to taste
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Start heating up a big pot of water for the pasta.

Also begin heating a little water to soak the sundried tomatoes in. You only need enough to cover the tomatoes; soak them for at least ten minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the butter in a large skillet. Add the scallions, and saute for about a minute. Then add the spinach and stock, cover, and let steam until the spinach is well wilted. Toss with the fresh herbs, and remove from the heat.

Drain your sundried tomatoes, and chop them up.

Once the pasta is done, drain it very briefly and return to the pot. Toss in the spinach mixture, sundried tomatoes, remaining ingredients, season to taste, and serve.

This would be great as a side for a meaty meal, or maybe even cold, as a pasta salad. Marinated artichoke hearts would be an excellent addition.

Here's some pictures from our hike:

I was playing with the color accent mode on my camera in the above shot.

Fringed polygala.

Wonderful mushrooms.

Pink azalea.
Have a good weekend, everyone! Hug your moms lots.


Gina said...

Yum that sounds like a yum recipe. Really anything with spinach and feta is good in my book!

Love that pic of the mushrooms =)

Kami said...

We took a pre-dinner hike yesterday, too. Closer to home, but it still felt good. Dinner was just leftovers, though. You have more ambition than I, my friend :) Looks yummy, though!

ChristyACB said...

The park looks like it is really coming to life there! Great photos.

Kim G. said...

Hi! Pasta is my favorite! Any kind of pasta! I didn't see an email for you so I'm leaving you a comment instead. Glad you liked the photo's from the mini flea market, those beaded floral arrangements were so beautiful. And tiny!! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Jabba said...

This is similar to a favourite pasta dish of mine. It's all the same ingredients (pretty much) except I add mushrooms, bacon and basil with the sundried tomatoes and spinch.
I'm so thankful for rice pasta! With my 'new diet' I would die without some kind of 'pasta' to eat.

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