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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spanakopita Pasta

I have been thinking about this for a little while now. Combining all the flavors of Spanaopita, a delicious Mediterranean starter of spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo dough, into a pasta. Seems like a no brainer to me. So here's what I did.

I started out with shallots because I'm on a big time shallot kick. I love them. I used about three medium sized shallots for this. You can use more, less, or something else completely. An onion, leeks, garlic, in my opinion, you can't go wrong with whatever you chose.

Saute them in a Tablespoon or so of olive oil, on a low heat. You don't want them to get any color, just mellow out and become softer. They impart a very nice sweetness and mild onion flavor.

Now because it's a new year and I'm trying to be smarter about what I eat, I chose a multi-grain pasta, low fat feta and raw spinach. I did not want to use frozen in this, but if you want to, have at it. I don't love cooked spinach and if using frozen, it's more cooked than not.

So, while your shallots are sweating get that big pot of water on to boil for your pound of pasta. Once the pasta is done, this comes together really fast. Drain cooked pasta into a large boil and take the whole 9 oz. bag of spinach and toss them together (I used a little less than the whole bag, but using the whole bag would be fine). The heat from the cooked pasta will wilt down the spinach perfectly. It's not quite raw but it's not cooked either.

Add the shallots and, because I can't afford pine nuts (which is usually in Spanakopita), I tossed in about 1/3 cup of toasted slivered almonds. Add 2 Tablespoons of crumbled Feta cheese when serving. I do it individually when serving because if you have leftovers (which we always do), and you go to reheat something with Feta in it, the Feta disappears.

If the pasta is too dry when everything is mixed together you can add a little water that the pasta was cooked in, or you could drizzle the top with Extra Virgin Olive Oil when you serve.