We've all had nights when the responsibility of even thinking of something to make for dinner - much less actually making it - was the equivalent of being told to climb Mount Everest, in four inch heels, with 30 lb packs of rocks on our backs. Ugh. You know you've been there.
I was actually there three times last week; coming home late, out of steam, mentally drained... I was terrified. In such times of weakness, it would have been so easy to ask Marc to stop by the St-Hubert drive-thru for a chicken dinner with fries and gravy... Lord... That would have been good. But we had to eat something better than that. On that first evening, Mere would be coming by to go for a run, and I needed proper fuel. Not a cheap, greasy thrill.
Speedy and fresh spinach and white bean pasta sauce with Parmesan and lemon
(Feeds four, no leftovers)
Step 1: fire up a pot of water, salt it when it starts to boil, and throw in a 450 g package of pasta (any kind will do - I chose spaghetti this time). Tip: to achieve perfect flavour in your pasta, the cooking water should be as salty as the Mediterranean. Go ahead, taste it before you throw in the pasta. Nobody will judge you!
Step 2: while your pasta cooks, put the following ingredients in your food processor and blitz:
- 1 can of white beans, drained
- 3 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- zest of 1/2 lemon (add more after blitzing, if you want a more lemony taste)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh parmesan chunks that you've chipped off using a butter knife (matchbook- sized pieces), or pre-grated parmesan (just not the sawdust kind from the green canister, for the love of all things holy!)
- enough olive oil to make everything whizz around smoothly (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup)
- salt and pepper to taste (might want to add this after everything's been blitzed).
Step 3: scoop a cupful of the pasta water out with a coffee mug and set aside. Drain the pasta, return it to the cooking pot and pour the pasta sauce over top. Mix everything quickly, adding some of the pasta water if the sauce needs to be smoother. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil over everything. Et voilà!