pistachio pasta

coincidence that national treat yo self day and national pasta day are within just a few days of each other? i think not. not that anyone needs an excuse to put pasta on the table, but i can't think of a more fitting evening to do so. so pour yourself a glass of wine and start boiling your salted water.

this recipe came from a dc food blog, and it's one of the first blogs that inspired me to begin planting my roots. when i think of this recipe, i'm instantly transported back to the first time i made it. it kicked off for me a tradition of sunday night pasta dinners, thanks to the idea from cupcakes for breakfast. i also devoured it after a marathon training run, so it felt like extra pasta pampering was deserved that sunday night. even if you aren't training for a marathon, this recipe really isn't that heavy. spring or summer, or even a warm fall evening, a scoop of pasta with a crunch of pistachio and crumble of cheese is always welcome. 

pistachio, goat cheese and spinach pasta

what you'll need:

2-3 tbps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbps crushed garlic
5 big handfuls of fresh spinach
pinch of salt
4 cups dry mezzi rigatoni
5 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup crushed pistachios, for serving
fresh cracked pepper, to taste

what you'll do:

  • bring water to a boil, adding in a few pinches of salt. pour in dry pasta to boiling water, stirring occasionally until al dente (about ten minutes). drain pasta, but hold just over a quarter-cup reserve pasta water.
  • while pasta is cooking, in large cooking pan you'll drizzle in olive oil over medium heat. add in crushed garlic and stir with wooden spoon for about four minutes. toss in spinach, sauteing until wilted.
  • add cooked pasta plus your reserved pasta water to large pan with spinach, garlic and olive oil. 
  • mix in goat cheese til the nooks and crannies of your rigatoni are coated evenly with the melting cheese.
  • serve immediately, topping with sprinkles of cracked pepper and crushed pistachios