Sunday, January 09, 2011

Noodles with Spinach Cream sauce

Tonight's dinner was quick and easy and another one that I've made my own with a little inspiration.  It may sound silly, but I've always been one that has heavily relied on recipes.  My mom is the same way; we both need a recipe to make rice.  Therefore, when I can make something good without a recipe (or even a little mixing it up on my own), I get a little proud of myself.
I started with this recipe from Rachael Ray which I have made before.  The first time I tried it, my husband wasn't a very big fan of the gnocchi (which I will admit I didn't actually make according to the recipe; I used store-bought potato gnocchi) and the dish came out a little heavy for both of us.  I was interested in making this again, mainly because I had spinach left over from last week's Zesty Ravioli Skillet and I didn't want waste anything (another goal of the year.. less waste!) so I decided to go with egg noodles.  I had just enough half & half left over, well, no, I only had 1 1/2 cups so I made up the rest with a little water.  This cut down on the cream part and did make the sauce a little thinner, but it still came out excellent.

So, here's the run down:
  • Cook noodles as per packaged directions (I used the dumpling size - about 1/2 of the 12 oz package)
  • Follow RR recipe (link above) for sauce:
    • " a large, ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half and simmer, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, stir in the spinach and cook over low heat until just wilted, 3 to 5 minutes."
  • Combine noodles into skillet with sauce. 
  • Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and stir until combined.
This made just enough for about 3 servings.  Next time I would probably use the full 2 cups of half & half  and all, or at least more noodles so I can have a little left over for lunches.  The two of us ate this up (mainly me! - also working on portion control.. slowly!)

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