Friday, March 16, 2012

40 Meatless Meals: Fusilli With Spinach, Ricotta, and Raisins

I love this recipe for being very quick-and-easy, but still interesting enough to serve for company. The whole thing (including thawing spinach) only takes as long as cooking the pasta. I was inspired by Jen's account of eating pasta with golden raisins in Rome, and couldn't be more pleased with the recipe I turned up.

12 ounces fusilli pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 10-ounce box box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed of excess moisture
2 scallions, thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
1 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup whole or part-skim ricotta
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the olive oil, spinach, scallions, raisins, basil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Toss with the pasta to combine. Fold in the ricotta, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, and pine nuts.

Notes: In the past, I've substituted a healthy splash of cream for the ricotta, and cashews for the pignoli, so go ahead and work with what you have; The main interplay of flavors is between the raisins, spinach, and vinegar. If you use a kitchen scissor to slice the basil and scallions right into the bowl, you can save on dishes, too.

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