Linguine Florentine Recipe

Linguine
Linguine. nicolebranan/E+/Getty
Total Time 30 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 20 min
Yield 6 one-cup servings

Linguine Florentine is an easy dish to toss together. You can use fresh or frozen spinach or Swiss chard, either using what you are growing in your garden or grabbing a package from the freezer.

Pasta is the friend of the long distance walker or runner, providing carbohydrates for fuel for endurance exercise and recovery. It does not need to be avoided as long as you practice portion control. This dish provides starch, a vegetable, and a little protein in the cheese. The hard cheese used gives the dish a lot of flavor for fewer calories.

For those who are gluten-intolerant, you can substitute one of the many gluten-free pastas that are increasingly available.

This recipe doesn't include garlic, although you may find that you would prefer to add some. If you want more spice, add a few red pepper flakes.

Pasta florentine has approximately 190 calories per one cup serving. This does not include calories added if you add bacon crumbles. If you increase the amount of cheese or oil, you would increase the calories.

Ingredients

  • 1 10-ounce package chopped spinach, thawed and well drained or 1 pound fresh spinach or swiss chard
  • 12 ounces uncooked linguine pasta, six cups cooked
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese - Romano, Parmesan or Asiago
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: A little crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes 

Preparation

1. If you are using frozen chopped spinach, thaw and drain it well. To get all of the juice out, wring it out by hand over the sink. 

2. If you are using fresh spinach or fresh swiss chard, wash the spinach or chard well and discard the stems. Place the spinach or chard without water in the microwave, cover and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Drain the spinach, squeezing out the water between paper towels until it is barely moist, then chop the spinach.

If you prefer, you can steam or quickly dry saute the spinach to wilt it before chopping.

3. Cook the linguine in salted water until it is your desired firmness. Before you drain the pasta, dip out of cup of the pasta cooking water to reserve it.

4. In a large bowl, toss the cooked linguine with the olive oil. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking water.

5. Add the spinach, cheese, pepper and optional diced tomatoes, toss the together gently. Add a little more of the pasta cooking water so the dish is moist. The starch and salt from the cooking water will create a simple sauce.

6. Optional: top with crumbled bacon.

7. Serve.

For a healthy meal, enjoy pasta florentine with a fresh green salad. Have fresh, sliced fruit for dessert.

You can store leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat them in the microwave. You can also freeze portions to reheat later. You may want to add a little water when you reheat the dish.

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