Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whole Grain Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, Shallots, Pancetta and Parmesan

For the second week in a row I was blessed with some really, I mean REALLY beautiful spinach in my CSA shipment from Harvest2U. Since it is winter, and not everyone is having the springlike weather that we're enjoying, I decided to go for a hot dish using my spinach instead of a salad.

This recipe is South Beach (phase 2 and 3) friendly and can be made gluten free (GF) by replacing the pasta I've used with GF pasta.

Whole Grain Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, Shallots, Pancetta and Parmesan

1/2 box of organic, whole grain pasta cooked to al dente
2oz pancetta
2T olive oil
1 large shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2c sliced baby bella mushrooms
2T finely chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
4-6 cups fresh raw spinach, stems removed
1/2c freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot boil water and cook past to al dente. Mine was ready at 7 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

In a large skillet, coated with cooking spray, cook pancetta until crisp. Remove from skillet and let drain on a paper or kitchen towel. Set aside.

In that same skillet, add olive oil, shallots, garlic and parsley. Saute until shallots become soft (this won't take long at all).

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and saute again.

Once the mushrooms start to soften and change color, add your spinach into the skillet and cook until wilted. I prefer my spinach a little more undercooked and closer to it's raw state, but please wilt yours as much as you like.

Once the spinach is wilted, add salt and pepper to taste and toss together with pasta. At this point you'll add 1/3 of the parmesan cheese and toss again. Repeat that process. 

Then to plate this meal, twist the pasta into a little nest, if desired, top with a little more parmesan cheese and crumbled pancetta. This is such a delicious dish!

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