This week for the twenty-seventh recipe I've made forThirty Minute Thursdays, cooking our way through Giuliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta book with Margaret and whoever else wants to join us, I made Penne ai Funghi agli Spinaci e Ricotta (Penne with Spinach and Ricotta), on page 85.
The ingredient list: spinach, yellow onion, butter, whole-milk ricotta, nutmeg, pepper, cream, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and penne.
Sometimes I go through the book selecting a recipe because of seasonal ingredients, sometimes just because I like the looks/sound of a recipe, sometimes just because I have a limited amount of time/budget/energy/desire...this week I went through the book with my refrigerator in mind as I had a little bit of this and that to use up and this recipe fit the need exactly.
I want to say this: I do know that serving pasta at the peak of doneness, immediately from the pot to the table is the best way, I do know that. That said, however, there are times I end up with more pasta than we eat (particularly now that my pasta-loving swimmer is at college), so I just park the leftovers in the frig with a mental note that I have pasta already made if I need something really quicker than 30 minutes.
This was one of those times. I had some penne left, a little ricotta, the end of a bag of spinach, the end of a jug of cream, and onion and Parm always on hand...this recipe went together in about fifteen minutes tops. The pasta was still nice (I pulled it out just slightly ahead of the other knowing that I would be reheating it in a couple of days) and the other ingredients just made it all come together beautifully.
The two cheeses with the penne and the spinach was a perfect combination of flavors. Delicious, fast, and definitely a repeat.
Don't be afraid to cook double the pasta you need, park half in the frig and pull it out when you make the sauces fresh from this book...I have done it several times and it always works beautifully. It is definitely a time-saver on busy nights, and much better than resorting to something from the freezer pre-packaged from the store because you are pressed for time. The fresh sauces from the book are really wonderful and easy/quick, and I have found that they showcase the pasta with their vibrancy.
If you like the looks and sounds of it, buy the book as I am a believer in encouraging people to support the authors who put together these fabulous books by buying a copy, so you won't find the recipes posted from this book here. (Buy it, the recipes are easy, the ingredients are easy to locate, it's not pricey, and there are photos of almost all the recipes.)