Pasta_Mascarpone_Spinach_IMG_0823This is a Jamie Oliver dish which we hadn’t had in years. I was googling around, wondering what to do with left over mascarpone, when I happened upon it again.

Jamie’s version calls for tagliatelle or spaghetti. We’ve made it with fresh linguini, which is a real treat. Tonight, being a weeknight and all, we used bucatini because that’s what there was in the long pasta department.

If you use pre-washed spinach, the dish takes only as long as it takes you to boil up a pot of water and cook the pasta.

• Tagliatelle with Spinach and Mascarpone •
Original recipe from Jamie Oliver here
translated from metric measurements below

1 lb tagliatelle or spaghetti
olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
½ nutmeg, freshly grated (or 1/4 tsp ground)
14 oz fresh spinach, washed thoroughly and finely sliced (or pre-washed baby spinach, not chopped or anything)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 oz mascarpone cheese
2 handfuls Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile get a frying pan or wok warm, add a drizzle of olive oil, the butter, garlic and nutmeg. When the butter melts, add the spinach. After 5 minutes it will have wilted down and will be nice and dark. If using baby spinach, cook for only 2-3 minutes, until just wilted, you don’t want it to overcook. A lot of the liquid will have cooked away and you’ll have wonderful intensely flavored spinach. At this point season with salt and pepper until it tastes good, then add the cream, mascarpone and a little ladle of cooking water from the pasta. Let this come to a simmer and then season again.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, then stir it into the spinach sauce. Add the Parmesan and toss everything together. Loosen to a nice silky consistency with some of the reserved cooking water, so it doesn’t become too claggy*. Check once more for seasoning and serve straight away.

*Claggy is a funny British word, just mix it till it’s smooth and creamy and not too thick or pasty.