Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Facelift + Spaghetti with Spinach, Tomato, and Ricotta

I am slowly working on updating my blog, hoping to give it a more fresh, professional look. Please bear with me over the next few weeks- I'm new at this. I've changed the title to something a little more, um, English, so don't be thrown off. This is still Nic's blog. Thanks in advance for your patience. Now, onward!

The time has come again, dear reader, for my bi-weekly clean-out-the-fridge meal. Before I cared about things like wastefulness and frugality, I would, on a very regular basis, recklessly throw out leftover bits of produce and meat that I didn't plan to use for later meals; now, I make it a point to leave a few days open on my monthly meal plan to find a tasty way to incorporate every last green leaf, bit of cheese, herb, and scrap of meat in my refrigerator into something tasty. This can sometimes prove challenging when the only items I have to work with are things like beef bones, watermelon rind, and alfalfa sprouts (yes, it's happened, and yes, we ordered pizza that night), but this week's refrigerator forage made for an exceptionally easy, quick meal. I had about half a cup of canned tomatoes leftover from who knows what (summer tomatoes, please come quickly!), several handfuls of baby spinach from the hub's sandwich stash hanging on for dear life, and a couple spoonfuls of ricotta left from a lasagna I made last week. Easy.

Spaghetti with Spinach, Tomato, and Ricotta.

1/3 lb spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
2 Tbs olive oil
several handfuls of spinach (or rapini, kale, or chard)
hot pepper flakes
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 cup of canned tomatoes, diced (or 2 fresh roma tomatoes, seeded and diced)
A few spoonfuls of ricotta cheese.

1. Boil pasta in well-salted water to al dente (don't skip the "well-salted water" part. It makes a big difference).

2. While pasta boils, sautee greens in olive oil until wilted. Add salt to taste, hot pepper flakes to taste (just a couple pinches worked for me), and garlic and cook for one minute. Add tomatoes and heat through.

3. Drain pasta and distribute into bowls. Stir ricotta and tomato mixture together and spoon on top of pasta. Serve immediately.


  1. Yes! Someone else who likes their pasta somewhat spicy! I grew up emulating my dad, who always sprinkled his spaghetti/pizza/other Italian-style dishes with red pepper flakes. Mmmm, childhooood memorieees...

    And I never thought of creamy-fying spaghetti sauce with ricotta cheese... I always just stirred in generous amounts of parmesan...

  2. Yeah, I prefer using that or chevre, but the ricotta was pretty good too.