Monday, December 6, 2010

Entrée: Spaghetti with Romano Spinach Cream Sauce and Seasoned Asparagus

Difficulty: Medium

Prep Time: 5-10 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Serves (4)

Pretend you're French for a moment and try not to be afraid of butter. You can go back to your olive or coconut oil tomorrow, but tonight we need butter in both the cream sauce and the asparagus--no exceptions. This dish is built on layers--beginning with a hint of bacon in the cream sauce, to the spinach and sauteed onions, on up to the seasoned asparagus. Each bite is as good as the last.

Ingredients: 8 oz spaghetti or linguine, 2 small onions, 2-3 cups spinach (fresh or frozen), 6 oz bacon, 1 small bunch of asparagus (about 1/2 lb), 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 cup grated romano cheese, 4-6 tbsp butter, 2 rounded tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, romano for topping

Slice onions. Sautee in large pan with oil over medium heat. Remove from pan and set aside. Cook bacon in the same pan until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towel to absorb the grease. Discard most of the bacon grease in the pan--leaving some behind for flavor.

While bacon is cooking, bring water to boil and cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain.

Wash the asparagus. Slice the bottom inch off. Place 2-3 tbsp of butter in a separate pan over medium heat. Once butter begins to sizzle, place asparagus in pan and generously season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Gently roll asparagus in pan to evenly cook all sides. Cook until sides begin to shrivel and brown (about 10 min). Once cooked, the asparagus can stay in the pan (burner off) while you prepare the other ingredients.

Chop bacon into small bits. Return to original pan. Add spinach, onions, milk, and 2-3 tbsp of butter. Dissolve 2 heaping tbsp of flour in water and pour into pan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup grated romano cheese and 1/4 tsp garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add spaghetti to pan and toss until evenly mixed. Top with asparagus and freshly grated romano.

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