Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

I love mushrooms and randomly, today, I had the urge to cook them! Last night when I was talking to my mom, she mentioned how we had spinach in the house. (I’m anemic and my iron level is pretty severely low and spinach is extremely rich in iron!) So I thought to myself, why not make myself some delicious pasta with spinach and mushrooms. Now this recipe could probably feed 4 people considering the amount of sauce I made.

You’ll need:

1 tsp of oil (I used extra virgin; you can use whatever you have on hand)

1/4 tsp of red pepper flake

1/8 teaspon paprika

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1/3 cup spinach

10 oz pack of white button mushrooms

28 oz can of crushed tomato

salt

black pepper

box of pasta (I used penne rigate [those are the ones with the lines on it; I find that those hold the sauce better)

some mozzarella cheese

water

First I put on a pot of water to boil; once its boiling, add some salt (a teaspoon or so) and stir it every now and then. (Keep an eye on it!)

Then I got my spinach started. In a pan I put about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat and added the red pepper flakes for them to infuse the oil. After about a minute, or when the it seems that flakes are getting fried add in the spinach. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan (and some of the spinach should be submerged in the water.) Then add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and about 1/8 teaspoon of paprika. Now the paprika, once again, is there for a hint of flavor and not for spice. If you want a spicier sauce then go ahead and add a little bit more (or you could add cayenne pepper.)

(wow that’s a pretty bad picture; sorry!)

After the water cooks off; put it into a bowl and we can get started on our mushrooms.

I washed the mushrooms before I started the spinach and put them in a colander to dry off (make sure you get all the dirt off.) Now I know there are many rumors that go around about how mushrooms absorb water and make them rubbery and mushy and all that good stuff, but Alton Brown says otherwise and proves it too.

Start the first link at 8:25 and it continues in the second link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW9npAc2Sgw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p7UcCAw39c&feature=related

So might as well save yourself some trouble and just soak them in some water; or rinse them under some running water.

After I was done with the spinach, I took the stem of the mushroom off (just by giving them a little push [on a long end; push horizontal, not into the mushroom cap]) and sliced them. For the caps that were a little large, I cut it in half and then sliced them up. Now mushrooms do have a lot of water in them; so I just threw them into the pan, salted and peppered them up and let them cook down

When they cook down; they’ll have a slight brownish color to them.

Then I threw the spinach back into the pan; poured the 28 oz can of crushed tomato into the pan as well and mixed it all together. I added a pinch more of salt and cracked a bit more pepper. Also add the parsley at this time and let it sit on the stove to let the flavors mingle on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, I drained my pasta and got it ready in a bowl.

First put some pasta

Then I add just a little bit of sauce and put some mozzarella cheese on it.

And then cover that with some more sauce

The hot sauce on both sides will melt the cheese, so let it sit for a few minutes and then stir it all together.

Serve with some bread and there you have it: Spinach and Mushroom Pasta!

*sorry for the blurriness in the pictures; I’ll double check next time before I move on!

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