This dish is amazingly creamy and full of flavor! Make sure you remember to save the pasta cooking water. The “sauce” is really more of a paste, and adding the cooking water at the end is what makes it come together as a silky, delicious coating.
Pasta and Spinach with Walnut-Ricotta Sauce
Author: Wolff's Apple House
- 5 slices baguette (about ¾” thick)
- ½ cup milk
- 2 Tbs sour cream
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
- 1 Tbs fresh thyme
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb Pasta (spaghetti or linguini work best)
- About ½ pound fresh spinach, stems removed and washed well
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a nice big pinch of salt.
- Whisk together the milk and sour cream in a shallow bowl and put the bread slices in it to soak. (Rotate and flip them periodically so each slice gets saturated.)
- Cook the spinach: saute the minced garlic in olive oil in a large shallow pan for about 30 seconds (don’t let it brown.) Add the spinach, cover, and let it steam for 5-10 minutes until very tender. (If your pan is small, you will have to add it in stages as it cooks down.) Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Using a food processor, add nuts, 1 clove garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, and thyme. Process until well mixed. With the food processor running, add the oil slowly until the mixture forms a thick paste. Squeeze out the bread and mix that in next. Then add the ricotta and the milk/sour cream mixture and process once more until it is all combined. Taste and add salt & pepper if desired.
- Cook the pasta until just tender—do not overcook! When draining, reserve 1-2 cups of the cooking water. Put the pasta in a shallow bowl and top with about 2 cups of the paste. Add the reserved cooking water a bit at a time while stirring vigorously, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Serve into bowls and top with the cooked spinach and some extra Parmigiano Reggiano.