Remember Popeye the Sailor Man? Yeah, me either.
I do remember something about an unappetizing can of spinach being his source of strength. Yuck! For years I have avoided spinach because of the way it was presented in that cartoon.
I had no clue that spinach, in it’s natural state, is actually quite good. I’ve also learned through trial and error that I prefer it less-cooked. I find that longer cooking times make it more slimy.
This recipe is great on it’s own, or it can be a side dish.
A little secret… I actually tested a recipe for honey dijon chicken to go with this, and it came out terrible. I don’t think it was my fault though. We normally get our chicken from a local farmer’s market, and this time we got it from the grocery store. I couldn’t believe how tough it was, and the taste was totally different than what we are used to. The chicken was super plumped up, and shrank drastically after cooking it. It appears the chicken was mainly water because it sat in a huge pool of liquid when finished.
This never happens with our normal chicken. In fact, I can usually cook chicken breasts on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and throw the parchment paper away when finished, leaving a clean cookie sheet behind. It was very disappointing. If this sounds like your typical experience with chicken, you might want to find a place that doesn’t inject their chicken with who knows what.
Anyway, I apologize for the rant. I hate cooking failures, but we all have them. Right?
The good news is that this pasta dish is tried and true and is so delicious! The tender leaves of fresh spinach balance out the richness in the cream sauce perfectly.
- 1 lb box rotini
- 4 tbs butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tbs flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3 packed cups of fresh spinach leaves
Cook noodles as directed on box. Strain and return to pot.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter. Stir in onions and cook until they start to caramelize. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook another two minutes.
Take the pan off the heat, and whisk in milk. Return to heat, and allow sauce to reach the point of gently bubbling. Stir in goat cheese. Allow the cheese to melt, and the sauce to thicken. The total time from when the milk is added to the sauce being done is about 9 minutes.
Pour the finished sauce over the noodles and stir thoroughly. Add the spinach and continue to stir. Cover the noodles, and allow the spinach to wilt for a few minutes. Stir again, and serve.