The platform for this recipe is PW’s Pasta with Tomato Blue-Cheese Sauce. I’ve made versions of it many times since she posted it in April, and it’s kind of morphed into something different, with spinach featuring as a main ingredient, a blend of spices I adore, and some dry sherry. Guys, if you like blue cheese, this is a MUST. The photo does not do it justice–trust me and make it immediately. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and apologize for the photography since this was one of the 1st recipes I took pictures of while cooking. Ignore the weird color balance and just believe me when I say that this is the crowning jewel of pasta recipes in my book. The only chopping involved is the garlic, so it creates minimal dishes (always a perk).
1 TBS olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated toasted onion
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 c dry sherry (or red wine)
1/3 c crumbled blue cheese
1/3 c heavy cream
1/2 bag (4.5 oz.) spinach
1/2 lb cooked pasta, to serve
Optional and evil: garlic croutons, for sprinkling on top
If you start boiling your water first of all, the spinach sauce should be done right before you have to drain the pasta.
Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add your garlic, and fry about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add the whole can of tomatoes, juice and all. Turn the heat up to high and add your sugar, salt, peppers, and toasted onion granules (if you don’t have this, you could try substituting a mix of dried onion and onion powder … or onion salt, and cut the 1/4 tsp salt).
Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently–the liquid should all but evaporate. Once the liquid is almost all gone, add your sherry (you can turn off the flame temporarily for safety). Let it simmer over medium-high heat for a minute or two.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add your blue cheese.
Stir until melted. Add the cream, and stir to incorporate.
If you taste it at this point, it will seem a little overseasoned, but once the spinach goes in everything will make sense. Turn the heat down a little further and add the spinach. It will look like way too much, but don’t worry–it cooks down fast.
Stir as it wilts. . .
. . . and take it off the heat after about 1-2 minutes. Hopefully your pasta is about done by now:
So serve it on up! Unhealthy but delicious idea: once I sprinkled garlicky croutons on top. The crunch with the wilted spinach and al dente pasta was divine.
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