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Fusilli Pasta with Spinach and Asiago Cheese


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Ingredients

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 34 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bag (9 oz) baby spinach (can use regular spinach but, if so, roughly chopped it)
  • 1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 heaping cup grated aged Asiago cheese (aged Asiago will give it a better flavor)
  • 1 cup grated aged Parmesan Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon, plus 1 tablespoon salt, separated
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. This recipe comes together very quickly so it’s best to have everything ready before you start. Grate your cheese, chop your tomatoes, mince garlic, and get the spinach ready. It would also be helpful to measure out your pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, boil water for pasta and add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. When the water is boiling, add the fusilli and cook to the shortest cooking time on package. (For example, if it says cook 9-11 min, only cook 9 min.)
  3. Very important: Before draining pasta, reserve 1 cup of the salted water that the pasta cooked in. Drain pasta and set aside.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, preheat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Note: find the largest skillet you can with higher sides if possible. You’re going to be adding the pasta to this skillet and it can get a little full.) Add the garlic while the skillet is heating and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. (Note: Don’t wait until the skillet is too hot to add garlic,otherwise it will burn. It should be added to the pan shortly after you add the oil.)
  5. Add the spinach and tomatoes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and mix everything together. Add the cheeses, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine.
  7. Taste it – if you think it needs a little more salt, pepper, or cheese, add it now.
  8. Remove from heat, sprinkle with Parmesan or Pecorino Romano and serve.

Notes

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