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Fastest Pasta with Spinach Sauce (Bishop)

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Italian Pasta Spinach Vegetarian


  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1/2 ts Crushed red pepper flakes; or to taste; opt
  • 15 Calamata or other olives; approximately, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c Extra virgin olive oil; PLUS
  • 1 tb Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Long pasta; like linguine
  • 1 lb Spinach; washed, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.
GARLIC AND OLIVE OIL: Meanwhile, mince the garlic as finely as possible and combine it in the bottom of a warm bowl with the red pepper flakes (if using) olives and olive oil.
Place the pasta in the pot, and cook until it is nearly done (test it for doneness by tasting). Plunge the spinach into the water, and cook until it wilts, less than a minute. Drain quickly, allowing some water to cling to the pasta, and toss pasta and spinach in the bowl with the garlic and olive mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
*Toss the pasta with freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese to taste.
*In addition to or instead of the olives, use chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about a quarter cup), drained capers (about two tablespoons), toasted bread crumbs (about a half cup) or minced prosciutto (about a quarter cup).
*Use other greens, as long as they will cook quickly. Try chopped leaves of kale, collards, Swiss chard, turnip or mustard greens, or bite-size florets of broccoli.
*Use Asian noodles, and substitute a quarter cup peanut oil plus one tablespoon sesame oil for the olive oil. Add soy sauce to the hot pepper and garlic, omit the olives, and add a few lightly toasted sesame seeds.
TIMING TIP: Add tender greens like spinach when the pasta is about done. The added cooking time will be only 30 seconds or so. Add tough greens, like kale or collards or vegetables like broccoli florets — a minute or two before the pasta seems finished, so that the greens have enough time to become tender.
>Excerpt from COMPLETE ITALIAN VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK, by Jack Bishop (Houghton Mifflin, 1997). >Mark Bittman, NYTimes >Riverside Press-Enterprise 1998-Apr-05 >Hanneman/Buster
Notes: The very best pasta is often the simplest. Jack Bishop cooks the greens with the pasta and adds the seasonings at the last minute. Allow at least a gallon of water to a pound of pasta, because you need a large pot to accommodate the both the pasta and the greens.
Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by KitPATh <> on Apr 06, 1998