Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Ella Numera Dos. At the impressionable age of 16, she loved all things beautiful: clothes, shoes, art, food.
Above all, she listened to the rumblings in her tummy. But she also believed in presentation, a trait inherited from her Baba.
One weekend, the young woman's Mamasita, Mrs. Scribe, had to scurry out of town. The child was left, more-or-less, to her own devices, since her Dad, Mr. Fairway, was in charge. The young woman skipped swim practice, slept in, and scheduled a manicure.
While getting her nails done later that Saturday afternoon, Ella Numera Dos met foodie Giada De Laurentis, she of Food Network Fame. Giada was whipping up an attractive dish for her program, Everyday Italian. Ella stared at the plasma hanging on the wall behind the manicurist. Her tummy rumbled. The lightbulb went off upstairs, where Ella does her most serious thinking when matters of the tummy are involved.
After all, her Mamasita was out of town. Dad doesn't cook ~ much. Wouldn't it be fantabulous to surprise the 'Rents on Sunday evening, when the family was scrambling for something to eat?
The next afternoon, Mrs. Scribe walked into her kitchen to the most delectable of smells. Pasta boiling on the stove; garlic sautéeing in an adjacent pan; Ella Numera Dos grating Asiago cheese, then chopping spinach & halving cherry tomatoes.
We've enjoyed this recipe multiple times since Ella introduced it to us 3 years ago. The recipe for this gorgeous, delicious dish appears below. One note: The Scribe Family goes a little heavier on the cheese than Giada. It's all a matter of taste, I suppose.
Brought to you by Giada De Laurentis & Ella Numera Dos
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces (1/2 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (about 3 1/2-ounces) grated Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.
Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves 4 Scribes nicely, with a tad left over for lunch the next day!