Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a pasta... no wait! A salad... no Wait! It's Spinach Salad Pasta!

A weekend of mixed emotions - ending with an award from dear Donna - who always brings a smile to my face and a recipe to my dinner table.
"An Italian family is all about love, respect and food - or food, respect and love. Food is the vehicle that makes things happen in an Italian family. All your problems, joys and fears are talked about at the dinner table."- Maryann Esposito
I love this quote - because it sums up a lot - about the need to celebrate with food, work out problems with food and just commiserate - over food. This weekend had elements of celebration, working out problems and commiserating.
And I finally realized something (we won't talk about how many decades this took) - but it's not about the eating - although I won't lie - I find eating most enjoyable! It's the care in the choosing of a meal, the buying the freshest ingredients you can find and the act of putting it together - is as much a pleasure as the serving and eating of it.
So, in between the required grilling, I came across this recipe from TASTES OF ITALIA. I loved the simplicity of letting the fresh flavors of lemon and spinach shine. And shine they did.
3/4 lb. spaghetti - cooked according to instructions. I did my usual one pound and just increased everything else a tad
4 T olive oil
6 cloves of garlic cut in slivers
4 T capers
1 t dried red chile flakes
4T lemon zest
4 cups chopped spinach (I used a lot more!)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh ground pepper

Cook spaghetti. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, capers and chile flakes and cook for two minutes - stirring. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and cook for an additional two minutes. Drain pasta. Add pasta, spinach and salt to skillet. (I added the spinach first and sauteed briefly). Toss well. Pass the Parmesan and ground pepper. Simple and summery pasta.

I woke up to a lovely message from Donna from My Tasty Treasures.

Donna's blog is not only chock full of everything you want to eat in life; she's also a guarantee smile and outright laughter. Her enthusiasms for all of life is unbridled and you always leave hungry. Pay her a visit and be ready to print!
You know those e-mails where you need to pick a "favorite this" and a "favorite that?" Well, I'm not capable of that. I never give one-word answers. They all have "explanations." So choosing five wonderful bloggers is impossible for me - BUT - what I would love to do is pass this on to my first five blogger friends who befriended me when I did not know what I was doing. And believe me when I say, I have cooked from all of their blogs and if you are smart - you will too!
So as a way of thanking these remarkable cooks for their sharing of recipes and wisdom, the awards are passed on to:
http://saraskitchen.blogspot.com/ - everything is luscious and fresh
My Italian friends who remind me of my heritage:
And sweet Pearl for her stories and original recipes.
And just so you know - this is killing me - 'cause I really want to thank ten!
Grazie to all of you.


Heather said...

congrats on your award! have you looked at "regional italian cooking" and "the silver spoon"? they're my two favorite italian cook books :)

Heather S-G said...

So simple and so delicious!! Yum & congrats on your well-deserved awards.

Bunny said...

Congratulations on your award and posting this fantastic pasta salad!

OhioMom said...

Love this dish!

Wanda..... said...

You deserve your award Claudia...I had just about the same dish today for lunch...but it was spinach ravioli tossed with extra sauteed spinach, lemon pepper, and parmesan cheese...I love your recipes and conversation!

Donna-FFW said...

You deserve the awards Claudia, you are wonderful as is your cooking. Your pasta salad looks fantastic. So spring-like!

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

MMMMM...simplicity as its best, Claudia!
I just gave you an award!! Why?? Beacuse you deserve it! Please come over @ my foodblog & pick it up !!!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your pasta/salad looks simple and perfect.
Congratulations on your awards. Donna's blog is one of the best and so much fun to read.

Claudia said...

Heather: Do not know those cookbooks. I love how much I'm learning from all of you. Will check them out.

Thanks all for kind words.

And Sophie: Still trying to access your blog! (And Reeni's and Natasha's)

Anonymous said...

Claudia! You're a sweety! Thanks so much for the awards.
..and congrats on yours. You made my day :)

unconfidentialcook said...

I love your pasta. I usually toss in arugula but I love the spinach-lemon combo. Congratulations on your award--you deserve it!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

This meal is simply freshness and beautiful color. Terrific combination.

Congrats on your well deserved awards!

stephchows said...

Mixing spinach and pasta sounds like a great idea to me!

Christina Kim said...

I just love the simplicity of pasta dishes like this. No need for heavy sauces!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your award! The spinach pasta salad is a great idea - very healthy and delicious!

Reeni said...

The pasta looks great! I love me some spinach and a nice simple but flavorful sauce. Light but filling. Congrats on your awards, you deserve them!!

Barbara GF said...

I love a simple pasta dish like this, Claudia. I have a bag of garden spinach waiting in my fridge to be used ... mmmmm ... I could eat pasta every day!

Anonymous said...

I so agree with you! it's the love and work that takes behind the preparation of food that I enjoy the most too!
love this pasta, with the fresh greens!

pigpigscorner said...

I love pasta, it's so versatile. This dish looks and sounds so refreshing!