What is the best use for leftover fresh spinach… why fresh pasta of course! For dinner tonight, my mother and I decided to make some pasta with some leftover spinach. For the sauce, we decided that a brown butter would be the best way to bring out the delicate flavor of the spinach without overpowering it. For the pasta dough, I used Williams-Sonoma Fresh Spinach Pasta recipe.
Wilt the fresh spinach in a pan on the stove. While the spinach is cooling, use the same pan to sauté some pancetta. If you do not have pancetta, you can use chopped bacon or eliminate it all together. Chop some sweet onions and garlic and add them to the pancetta. Then, add a stick of butter and keep the burner on low to melt the butter.
Continue to follow the directions for the pasta dough. Occasionally stir the butter sauce to keep from burning.
Once pasta is formed, place in a pot of water that has been boiling for at least a minute. Make sure to not drop all the pasta in at once or you will end up with one big ball of pasta! Instead, separate the pieces of pasta while you drop them in the boiling water.
While the pasta is cooking, turn the heat up on your butter sauce. Scrape the sides of the pan with a spatula and watch the color of the butter. Once it looks clear, let it sit so that it can brown. Be careful not to let it sit too long or else it will burn! There is a fine line between browned butter and burned butter!
Once the pasta is al dente, drain. DO NOT run cold water through the pasta! It stops the cooking and we want to finish the cooking in the sauce. Put the pasta in the pan with the browned butter sauce on low heat. Finish cooking the pasta with the sauce so that the flavors integrate with the pasta. After 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat, pour yourself a nice glass of vino and enjoy! Bon Appétit!