Did I mention I love spring? It’s finally here, but for so long it wasn’t. Winter extended into spring and the storms keep coming, the temperature refused to rise, and there was plenty of rain. I hate rain. Okay, I don’t hate rain; after all, we need it. But now that’s it’s over I can send Mister 3 outside; he pulls on his gumboots and plays happily in the garden for hours. What he most loves to do is to harvest snow peas. Whenever I lose sight of him I always find him crouched down searching for the little green pods amongst the tangle of stalks and leaves.
With all that rain, our garden is now quite literally a jungle, and the vegie patch is no exception! There’s a bunch of fennel bulbs, a brave little rhubarb plant, some flowering coriander, some baby carrots, lots of parsley (grows like a weed) and a few spinach plants (aka chard). I’m not a big fan of spinach, but I am a fan of eating home grown fruit and vegetables. When I want to make a salad, I simply go outside and see what’s in the vegetable patch. I have been known to harvest almost the entire contents of a salad from the back garden. That feels good!
Although many vegetables seem to have only one harvest, our spinach just grows and grows. Once you cut some out, it simply grows another leaf. As a result, I have made this dish several times, but there is no less spinach in the garden! Which means I will be making it again soon. All you need is spinach, spaghetti, garlic, butter and parmesan cheese. You can use baby spinach leaves if you prefer, but wouldn’t you rather learn to chiffonade? An easy dinner and a new technique! It doesn’t get much better than that! Now to get the kid to eat spinach!
Spinach and Parmesan Spaghetti
5 ingredients is all you need to make this quick and tasty pasta dish!
250g/8 oz uncooked spaghetti
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 5)
1 bunch (approx. 500g/1 lb) spinach or silver beet (chard)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Wash spinach leaves, then cut out stalks, leaving only dark green leaves. Roll leaves and slice thinly (chiffonade). Set aside. You should have approximately 250g (8 oz) spinach leaves.
Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Set pasta aside.
Using the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the pasta and spinach. Gently toss and cook until spinach leaves are wilted. If the pasta starts to dry out, add in some of the reserved pasta water. Stir in ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese and toss until combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Pour pasta into a large bowl. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Adapted, ever so slightly from Two Peas and their Pod