Many a time our curiosity proves to be the best way to explore new recipes. We found this star at our local Italian restaurant while sifting through their menu card that was available for distribution, advertising their take away service. Little did they know that we might never order the Tomato – Spinach pasta from them after having made it ourselves. The tomato provides the tanginess and the spinach, both body and flavor to this amazingly tasty dish.
The recipe (a meal for 2)
Tri-color pasta- 150gms any shape other than spaghetti (we used fusili spirali)
Ripe Tomato – 5
Shallots (chopped) – 6 big ones
Garlic – 4 gloves
Fresh Basil – handful (save some for garnishing after the pasta is cooked)
Spinach – one bunch
Chilly flakes – one table spoon
Dry Parsley – one spoon
Olive Oil – accordingly
Cheddar Cheese – as cheesy as you like it
Salt – to taste
Boil water in a big pot. Add about a table spoon of salt and a table spoon of cooking oil. When the water comes to a rolling boil add the pasta and cook till they are al dente and drain. Slit the tomatoes and boil for 10 seconds. Cool them off, peel and mash them. Wash the Spinach leaves and blanch. Grind with garlic and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok and when it's hot add salt, chilly flakes and half of the chopped Basil leaves. After exactly 10 seconds, add the chopped shallots and fry for 2 minutes on medium flame. Add the mashed tomatoes and cook for a few seconds. Add the ground Spinach leaves and mix it thoroughly leaving it in low flame for 3-5 minutes until the raw smell goes. Add the cooked pasta and mix it in low flame. Turn the heat off and add cheese shavings and the remaining chopped basil leaves and set aside for 10 minutes before serving. Slurp with a glass of dry white wine, preferably and you will find yourself calling the meal all sorts of adjectives in slurry words.
Tip: Adding the pasta to the sauce as soon as it is drained without running it under cold water helps pulls the sauce together if it's too watery due to the starch in the pasta. So try and sync the pasta draining with the sauce getting ready.