Creamed spinach pasta with oven baked carrots

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I rarely eat pasta. I think it’s because I like the sauce better. So no, this post won’t be about how to make homemade pasta. It will be about fresh homegrown spring greens topped with some colorful goodness.

Probably the easiest way to prepare carrots is to toss them in the oven and let it do its work. No matter how good it will look or smell, be patient: roast at low temperature for at least an hour. This will bring out all the sweetness there is in carrots. You will get a sort of caramelized veggies without adding sugar.

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So, I cheat with pasta… wholegrain or buckwheat would be your perfect choice for this dish. At least baby spinach leaves come from my mom’s garden…

For creamed spinach I’m using slovenian fresh cheese called skuta. It’s something special and so far I haven’t found anything similar anywhere ease in the world. It’s similar to cottage cheese, but it’s not. The closest thing to replace it is ricotta. But still, that’s another thing. For me skuta should be categorized under superfood: it has 10 g of protein per 100 g and is really healthy. Without even talking how versatile it is to use: from appetizers to mains to desserts. Anyway, I’ve just bought a new book on cheese making, so as soon I learn how to prepare it, I’ll post it here.

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Ingredients:

serves 2

  • 5 carrots
  • 250 g spinach
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • lemon and mountain thyme
  • 4 Tbsp fresh cheese or ricotta (you can also use cream cheese instead)
  • 90 g wholegrain or buckwheat pasta
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper to season

Preparation:

  1. Cut carrots, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and mountain thyme. Slow roast at 180ºc for about an hour or until softened.
  2. 10 mins before the carrots are ready put pasta on.
  3. Chop garlic really fine. Heat olive oil, add garlic and roast for 30s. Be careful not to burn it, it’s ready when it starts smelling nice. Add spinach and stir to release the water. Season with salt and pepper. Put a bit more salt than you would normally – cheese is not salty at all.
  4. Remove from heath and mix with fresh cheese. If it’s too hot, the cheese will release water.
  5. When pasta is cooked, mix in creamed spinach.
  6. Serve with roasted carrots on top, sprinkled with lemon thyme and some olive oil.

 

 

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