One-Pot Creamy Pasta and Greens
In this recipe, frozen spinach, pasta and a whole lot of milk come together to create a satisfying pasta dish that will remind you of the best creamed spinach you’ve ever had. Stir the mixture often and vigorously to help the pasta release its starch and create a rich sauce. The lemon peel provides a bright citrus flavor, but you can leave it out. If you’d like a spicy version, add a dash of red-pepper flakes along with the shallot and garlic. You can also substitute different greens: Instead of frozen spinach, you can use 2 cups of chopped dark leafy greens, like chard or kale.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1shallot, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 5cups whole milk, plus more as needed
- 10ounces frozen chopped spinach
- 2wide lemon peel strips
- 10ounces ditalini, orzo or pearl couscous
- ½cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Step 1In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes.
Step 2Add the 5 cups milk, spinach, lemon peel and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the frozen spinach with your spoon, until the spinach is softened and the milk is just simmering, 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 3Add the pasta and cook, stirring often and vigorously, until the pasta is al dente, 20 to 25 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. If it looks dry at any point, add more milk. The mixture will continue to thicken as it sits, so it’s OK if the sauce looks a little soupy.
Step 4Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, discard the lemon peels, and stir in the Parmesan until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with more Parmesan.