Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tomato & Spinach Red Sauce in Under 10 Minutes [Matt]

(Serves 2)

1 Can - 28oz Diced Hunt's Tomatoes (not spiced, seriously.)
1 Handful of Spinach
1 Tbsp Butter (the real stuff.)
Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Salt
Favorite form of spicy Heat

When on any ride over an hour you spend AT LEAST the last half-hour thinking about what you're going to gorge when you get home. Now your stomach is saying, "just grab a stick of butter and put some fat back in dat belly!" while your mind knows that's a terrible idea which will set you back to feeling worse than when you started the session.

I spend this time thinking about what's in my fridge and cabinet that will offer me maximum-recovery benefits while not tasting like the bottom of a shoe.

Tonight I got impromptu-ly excited about red sauce. Normally I'll cook up a batch of Bolognese over half a day, but my stomach and patients have no time for that. 

So, here's the best way to play it in order to make the ~10 minute deadline before hunger-induced death ensues:

Get your pasta water started first and crank the heat. Don't use more water than is necessary. I keep homemade pasta stocked in my freezer (get that pinky up), but it cooks faster and tastes noticeably better. Or, just follow the directions on the side of your noodle box.

Break out your favorite 10+" sauce pan. Plop 1 Tbsp butter in the middle as you crank the heat to High. Toss in the handful of spinach and stir as the butter begins to melt.

While the spinach starts to wilt in the pan, quickly open your can of diced tomatoes. Use the lid to strain out the extra liquid into your sink.

Once the spinach is looking limp, dump in garlic powder, spicy-heat-spice of your choosing and salt to taste. Stir that. 

Now dump in the tomatoes.

Bring the sauce to a quick boil, then turn the heat down to about Medium. Add a pinch of brown sugar if the tomatoes aren't sweet enough when tasting the sauce. Also, feel free to utilize the full breadth of your spice rack here. I tossed in some fennel seed and chipotle peppers. 

Once your pasta finishes up, pour it into your sieve to get rid of the excess water. Now, dump those noodles into your sauce pan with the red sauce.

Let that hang out for 1 - 2 minutes. Serve (at this point you could also grate some parmesan, but I didn't have any or really miss it because the flavors melded so well). 

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