Creamed Spinach Pasta

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Creamed Spinach Pasta

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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.

Serves 6-8

Creamed Spinach Pasta

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  • Vikki

    Yum!!
    Your recipes always look so good!, but this one really stands out to me!!
    A must try. :)
    I didnt like spinach as a kid. During my elementary days there was a boy in my class who LOVED spinach with vinegar on it. When we had it for lunch at school, he would pay us 10 cents for ours!
    I love it now, fresh in salad, or served like this pasta dish. I still havent tried it from a can with vinegar though…

    • http://www.simpleandsatisfying.com Justin

      Thank you so much Vikki!

      Spinach and vinegar. Hmmm. I’m sure it would be good if it were fresh spinach, but I just can’t see the appeal of canned spinach. Honestly, I’m not a fan of most canned vegetables. They are so overcooked and mushy!

      I have done this pasta with frozen spinach, and that is acceptable too, but nothing beats fresh!

  • Lana

    I have a similar recipe I’ve had for 20 years- it doesn’t call for the goat cheese though. I don’t like veggies from a can either- except corn. And the only time I buy spinach frozen is for spinach dip!

    • http://www.simpleandsatisfying.com Justin

      The goat cheese gives it a little more creaminess. You should try it sometime!