Sunday, June 10, 2007

Spanakopita Spaghetti

I was inspired by this weekend's many, many, many festivals. And I was just watching something similar on the Food Network today - Michael Chiarello made a salad version of a BLT, replacing the bacon with pancetta. It was gorgeous. But I don;t have any pancetta. I do, however, have a lot of fresh spinach (no E. coli yet). And after I found some feta in the fridge I decided explode not a BLT but a spanakopita. One big liberty I took: I replaced the fillo dough with spaghetti (No fillo noodles lying around). To complete it, I added a pollock fillet - okay, not exactly in a spinach pie, either. I'm making it up as I go along here!

Here's my recipe. There are no exact measurements:
  • one serving of long pasta (spaghetti, spaghettini, capellini, etc)
  • three handfuls fresh bag spinach, washed
  • about 1/8 - 1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled or chopped up
  • about 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • dried or fresh oregano to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Utensils: pot of water, microwaveable dish, medium-sized bowl, fork, strainer, sharp knife, cutting board or other surface on which to cut

Procedure: Boil water in pot, adding small amounts of salt and olive oil. While the water boils, combine spinach, feta, olive oil and minced garlic in a bowl. Add spaghetti to pot, let boil to al dente. Drain and rinse pasta, and put on one half of plate. Put spinach mixture on other half. Top with fish, chicken or eggplant if desired.

Time: 15 minutes, minus fish, chicken or eggplant.
Serves: 1

The pollock came in one of those frozen pouches, and took only 3 minutes to microwave. It wasn't the highlight of my dinner, but it was edible.

What would I not change: The spinach and feta go really well together. That shouldn't change.

What would I change: Since I am a garlic freak, more garlic!!! Oh, and I think I would plate it differently. I think the way I laid out the spinach and the spaghetti was odd. There was no harmony. Next time, I may take a tip from Suzie of Suzie's Soba (yes, you have figured out I like that place). Her bibimbap, that all-purpose Korean mixture of meat, egg, lettuce, carrots and chili paste on rice, is sometimes served in a stone pot and other times served in separate bowls or all on one plate. Suzie serves hers in a lovely glass bowl, which makes it look very inviting. So I think I would serve it all in one big bowl - protein on top of spinach on top of spaghetti.

Why I am being so critique-y: After catching the Season 1 vs Season 2 ep of Top Chef today, and then the first two eps of the latest Next Food Network Star (like Top Chef but less bitchy and with far less ridiculous challenges). They are all rubbing off on me.

Food haiku:

Next Food Network Star
Bitchy factor not high as
Those folks on
Top Chef