In continuation with my Italian-cooking mood lately, I also did a main course including pasta- of course- spinach (it’s spinach season!) and parmesan. There was also some prosciutto di Parma involved, rolled around grissini sticks. When I was pulling out the ingredients, I even realized that I could make an edible Italian flag triptych!
However the base of my dish may seem unrelated but in reality is completely related and highly recommended- the base was hazelnuts. The story behind this is that I love how nutty flavours compliment spinach’s earthy flavours. I’ve always enjoyed a salad composed of raw spinach leaves and walnuts for instance. So from hazelnuts came the idea of throwing in some spinach, and then some pasta, and then one of my favourite home made sauces made from cream and parmesan (so easy to make, but it can send you off to paradise!) … and then finally to use all the colours of the Italian flag I included some Parma ham on the side. This is an easy dish to make- but I’d classify it as one of those simple dishes with an edge.
Before I post the recipe I’d like to thank Peter (who is currently creating a storm with his “Breads of the World” series! :-) ) from Souvlaki for the Soul for the Arte y Pico award. So with no further ado, here are the five blogs I’m passing this award to for their creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogger community. I really don’t like having to chose just 5 blogs, but I guess I can’t defy the rules… Those who receive the award should pass it on to another 5 blogs and include a link to the Arte y Pico site.
> Tamarind & Thyme for introducing a blog that is built on the idea of “cooking and eating well in London without going broke”. I love reading Su-Lin’s stories, they are always down-to-earth and so real, and when she is travelling I love to find out about her culinary discoveries!
> Boots in the Oven I have been a long-time reader of “Mr & Mrs. Pants” (or alternatively “Husbear & Girlie”) and the entertaining writing about food and all their worldwide travelling. One day they’ll be in country A and the other in country B, but regardless of that, their blog remains a constant pleasure to read!
> Technicolor Kitchen for Patricia’s unequalled optimism and positive energy (it just oozes out of her blog) and for reading from someone blogging all the way in sunny Brazil! She literally always posts about recipes that are delicious- always!
> The Sugar Bar for Kid Diva’s curiosity and because it is a really nice thing to know that enjoying the virtues of cooking can start at a really young age (Kid Diva started blogging at age 17). When I was 17 I did not know many people who were into food like me!
- Pasta, whatever shape you like
- Spinach leaves, raw & clean
- Liquid cream
- Hazelnuts- powder/ground
- Hazelnut oil
- Prosciutto di Parma
- Grissini sticks
- Salt & Pepper
First off start by cooking the pasta. Cook it 1 minute less then indicated. In the meantime, in a small pot heat some liquid cream and add some parmesan on top and salt & pepper. The parmesan needs to melt and the sauce should not be “chunky” so place it in a mixer if necessary. In the meantime as well, place some clean spinach leaves in a bowl and drizzle with hazelnut oil, ground hazelnuts and some salt. When your pasta is ready, remove from boiling water, rinse with water and then place again in a deep pan with the parmesan cream for 1 minute (this explains why you cook the pasta 1 minute less initially). Remove from heat, and then throw in the spinach mix and swirl gently and very very briefly. Place on serving dish (must be eaten warm not cold!!!) and serve with prosciutto di Parma rolled around grissini sticks (do these at the last minute or else the grissini sticks become soggy).