We have a love affair with Italy that goes back to when C worked for Olivetti in the 80s and made a couple of trips to Ivrea. Many evenings at Venezia restaurant in Johannesburg (I wonder if it is still there?) with the wonderful Giorgio and Ivana fostered our love of Italian food, and all things Italian. I’m very lucky to have been to Italy three times already (my first trip to Europe in 93 was 6 weeks in Italy – we didn’t go anywhere else). If I had to live on one national cuisine for the rest of my life, it would have to be Italian.
Miss N was yesterday in dire need of green vegetables – she had had a movie day with friends on Monday and then a sleepover so not much of any nutritional value had been consumed for a while. So dinner for C and N was fettucine with spinach and ricotta – an adaptation of a Valentina Harris recipe from “Instant Italian”. It’s one of their favourites (and was mine too before I went wheat and dairy free!) I “made do” with leftover roast sweet potato, spinach and grilled halloumi (sheep’s milk!)
Pappardelle with Spinach and Cream (serves 4)
400g pappardelle, fettucine or tagliatelle
400g fresh spinach, rinsed (frozen is quicker and cheaper!) I use 250g frozen
10 TBS single cream ( I substitute a big dollop of ricotta and I used some marscapone as it was on special)
6TBS freshly grated Parmesan cheese (the horrible packaged powder will NOT work!)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 TBS butter
Cook the spinach (I use the microwave), drain well. Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water. Whizz the spinach in a food processor with the cream and Parmesan. (I use my Bamix) Add the seasoning. Combine drained pasta, sauce and butter in the saucepan and serve at once.