Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 23: Spinach Spaghetti

I'm sure many of you know I'm quite the picky eater. Brad will attest that I've gotten much better over the years, but it's hard to change 20 years worth of eating habits. I'm desperately trying to eat a more balanced diet though. I tend to stick with fruits, carbs, and meat (and sometimes dairy when I decide I can put up with a rumbling tummy). I eat absolutely nothing green. I really really need and want to buy Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, which is all about hiding healthy foods in things your kids will eat. Kinda silly, I know. But I feel like if I just can't taste yucky vegetables or if I could get them to taste better I'd eat them more. Totally rational, if you ask me. Anyways, without the cookbook in tow, I'm trying to get creative. I made this DELICIOUS dish Wednesday night and had it again for lunch Thursday afternoon.

12 ounces spaghetti
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bag (6 ounces) baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

(1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, about 12 minutes. 
(2) Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs to skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, or until lightly browned. Add half of the garlic and 1/8 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes to skillet; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from skillet and wipe clean. 

(3) Reduce heat to low and add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, garlic and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes to skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until garlic is golden. Add spinach to skillet and toss until wilted, about 2 minutes. 

(4) Stir spinach mixture and Parmesan cheese into pasta. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and toss gently. Serve immediately.  

I didn't have any spaghetti noodles, so I used shells. I thought red pepper flakes sounded super weird in this recipe, but I added them anyways. They seriously made the meal! The hint of spiciness plus the crunchiness of the panko bread crumbs was wonderfully perfect. I did not, however, put in the whole 6 ounces of spinach because it looked like so much in the bag. I regret it. I should have used it all and maybe more, because the green in this "spaghetti" was super yummy! Try it out! If I liked it, I promise you will too.

Love, Courtney


  1. I have that cookbook. The sloppy jo recipe in it is awesome, but that's the only one that stands out to me out of the handful I've tried. If you want to try some out before forking out the money for the book let me know and I can email you a few of the recipes.

  2. Wow, that does look good. I think I shall try it. I have the cookbook that you are talking about and I haven't tried it yet, but it's some pretty simple stuff. :)