Spinach pasta with blue cheese

While paging through Nigella Lawson’s latest cookbook, Nigellissima, I was captivated by the photo of this beautiful, creamy, green pasta dish. After I noticed that the dish had less than 5 ingredients (thank you, Nigella), I decided that this was definitely going to be my next weeknight dinner for a few friends. Ready in less than 25 minutes, this dish was a cinch to make while people were over. I added a pound of broccoli to boost the health-factor and texture of the dish, and it worked out perfectly. If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, I think you could probably substitute another kind of soft cheese instead.

Recipe for Green Pasta with Blue Cheese
Excerpted from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson
Serves 2 hungry people

8 ounces trottole verde or any curled pasta of choice
salt for pasta water, to taste
4 ounces Gorgonzola piccante, crumbled or chopped
4 cups baby or salad spinach leaves (packed)
freshly ground pepper, slightly coarser than regular if possible
3 tablespoons chopped shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts

Heat water in a pot for the pasta, salting it when it comes to a boil, then add the pasta and cook following the package instructions, but checking 3 minutes before it’s meant to be done. This needs to be really al dente because it will carry on cooking as you make the sauce.

spniach pasta

Before draining the pasta, remove a cupful of pasta-cooking liquid, then tip the drained pasta back in the hot pan with 2 tablespoonfuls of the liquid, the crumbled cheese, and the spinach, and give a good grinding of coarse black pepper. Put the lid on the pan—off the heat, though back on the stove—and leave to stand for 2 minutes.

Remove the lid, turn the heat back on low, and stir the pasta, cheese, and spinach together, along with as much of the cupful of cooking liquid as you need—I find a scant 1⁄2 cup is about right—until the cheese is melted into a light sauce and the spinach, wilted.

spinach and cheese

Take off the heat, toss with about two-thirds of the chopped pistachios, and divide between 2 warmed bowls, sprinkling each bowl with the remaining nuts. Serve immediately.

pasta with broccoli and blue cheese