I’m not going to lie, it tastes MUCH better with full cream and lots of it. Luckily Ii only had milk which means, yay low fat white sauce! Sorta?
1/2 lb (8 oz.) of fafalle pasta (you can use any pasta) – cooked al dente (don’t forget the salt in the water!)
2 cups of milk (heavy cream or half and half for the fatty version)
4 springs of fresh thyme
1 french shallot diced fine
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 bunch of spinach – use the leaves only and wash thoroughly in cold water
extra virgin olive oil
red chili flakes
fresh ground black pepper
chili oil to garnish
Step 1: The Spinach
Make sure to wash the spinach leaves thoroughly because there’s lots of sand in spinach. Feel free to buy a bag of baby spinach instead. Bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch the spinach leaves for about 15 seconds and place in ice water. Make sure to put the ice UNDER the colander so you don’t have chunks of ice in your spinach. drain and squeeze out as much water as possible. Use a paper towel to get the remainder out. Roughly chop the cooked, dried spinach and set aside.
Step 2: The Sauce
In a large saucepan, melt the tablespoon of butter. throw in the shallots and saute until translucent – about 3 minutes. Now throw in the garlic, dried oregano, fresh thyme, salt and pepper and some crushed red pepper for another 3 mins but turn the heat to low. By this point you will need to add a small drizzle of olive oil. Let everything simmer for another few minutes and then slowly add in the milk or cream and bring to a simmer. stir often and let that reduce down to about halfway. Now add in the spinach and mix thoroughly to get the sauce in the leaves. And finally fold in the pasta.
Plate and garnish with chili oil, some more freshly grated parm, some fresh cracked pepper – whatever you feel like! I personally like spice so chili oil with chili flakes for me!