Friday, May 25, 2012

My Signature Pasta - Pasta of the Month

I guess it's no longer a secret, huh?  This recipe goes back to 1997 or so, when my son had relocated to Monterey California.  We went to visit for Easter and took him out to a quaint restaurant (name unknown, darn it) which was housed in an old Victorian home.  Each room had a few intimate tables, service was great as was the food.

I love pasta but didn't want the "red sauce" kind.  The dish I chose was a penne pasta with simple garlic, spinach, mushrooms and pine nuts.  Perfect!  As I devoured it, I secretly "picked it apart" ingredient by ingredient so I could replicate this at home for my family.  Job well done, she says!   It's my "go to" signature pasta now.  I can probably make it in my sleep!


2 cups dry penne pasta

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/3 yellow onion, sliced

3 cups spinach

7-8 mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup raisins

2 handfuls of pine nuts, toasted or not

2 ladles of reserved pasta water. extra drizzle of olive oil

Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Boil water for the pasta.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onions first.  Add the mushrooms, garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is limp.  Add the raisins, then the cooked pasta, remembering to drain and reserve some water.   Add the pasta water to moisten, the extra drizzle of olive oil and pine nuts.  Stir well and serve.  Great left over, too!

NOTE: picture.  I'll post it next time I make this wonderful pasta!!

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