• Karine Wlasichuk

The Art of Hiding Spinach: Creamy Pasta Edition

Updated: May 1, 2020

It very much is an art. And you need to get with it. Although I have posted one -or twelve- creamy pasta recipes, this one is special, because it tastes like weight gain yet is fairly healthy for you. You can alter it in many ways, choosing to use lower-fat milk or cheese and even replacing with vegan alternates. The limit does not exist.

I have hidden kale and spinach in so many dishes this year that I can

a) barely recall half of them and

b) am extremely proud.

Doing so will ensure that my daughter is not the ten-year-old kid who goes to people's homes and can only eat cheese pizza. She will be raised on kale and spinach anything (insert dips, pastas, smoothies, purées, mashes of all kinds), so much so that she will roll her eyes at basic dishes (a girl can dream- unless they are cooked by someone else, in which case she will be extremely polite and tell me about it its issues later).

You will need,

Chicken broth (1 cup)

Milk (2/3 cup, 1% in my case)

Dried oregano (a pinch)

Flour (3 tbsp)

Basil salt (for taste)

Cremini mushrooms (3/4 pint left in the fridge, thinly sliced)

Spinach (full bag)

Yellow onion (1, chopped)

Garlic (3 cloves, minced)

Parmesan (1/2 cup, plus extra for serving)

Black pepper (tons, all-throughout)

Casarecce pasta ( about 400 g for 2 bowls + leftovers for lunches)

A few steps,

1. In a large skillet over medium-heat, brown mushrooms with olive oil, onions and garlic while stirring for 5-6 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

2. Add flour and stir for another 30 seconds or so. This wil help your sauce thicken.

3. Slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth while stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper as you go.

4. Sprinkle sauce with oregano and mix.

5. Once everything looks homogeneous, lower the heat and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then, remove from heat or leave on very low heat if you are eating the dish right away (vs. lunch prep).

6. In a separate skillet, add more olive oil and batches of spinach. Toss until the leaves have soften, then add more. Do so for the entire bag. Add more oil and salt if needed.

7. In a salt water-filled pot, cook pasta according to package instructions (mine today were al dente within 8 minutes). Drain.

8. In the pot with the mushroom sauce, throw in pasta, spinach and Parmesan and mix thoroughly. Serve in bowls with an extra little dash of Parm! Enjoy all the iron. You are welcome.

And now, as always, the long-awaited lunch version pictures.

Above, my beautiful Tupperware in which I stored 2 days' worth of lunches. Such happy, happy times.