nothing-in-the-fridge pasta (rigatoni in creamy tomato sauce with spinach)

January 5, 2010

I recently got a promotion and have been working a bit harder than the last year and a half that I enjoyed a bit of cruise control, so going to the grocery and planning meals, sadly, has been a lesser priority. I came home yesterday to a near empty refrigerator, telling myself my farm shipment would come today and refill it. It didn’t show, so we ate the same thing again tonight.

For Two:

150g rigatoni (about 2.5 cups dry)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock or other stock
2 T tomato paste, good quality
1 shallot
1-2 T butter
1/4 head garlic, minced
fresh parsley, chopped fine
1-2 cups fresh spinach

Start your water to boil in a large pot with a lid. Meanwhile, peel the shallot and cut into quarters lengthwise. Slice 1/8 inch thick strips crosswise. Mince your garlic.

Heat a nonstick pan with moderate sides to high, add the butter. When water evaporates from the butter, add the shallot and garlic, cooking for 30seconds. Reduce heat to medium and let cook until getting fragrant and colorful. Add the cream, and let cook together. Add the tomato paste and mix. When cream is reducing and mixture is thickened, add chicken stock 1/2 of it at a time. Feel free to adjust liquid ratios to your liking.

As the pasta becomes al dente, bring the sauce to a higher heat and strain the pasta, immediately adding the spinach on top of it as it steams.  Put the pasta and spinach into the sauce pan and mix until spinach is wilted. Heat two pasta plates/bowls in the micro for 2 minutes and serve with parmasean on top!

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