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Pasta and Rice Lee Bailey's CA Country Cooking
Tomato 8/27/2002


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Servings: 6

6 tbsp olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
3 lbs. fresh spinach, washed, stemmed, drained, and coarsely chopped
3/4 c. grated Asiago cheese (Parmesan may be substituted)
3/4 lb. ricotta cheese
3/4 lb. Mascarpone cheese
1-1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 c. fresh tomato sauce (see note)
Generous 1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
1-1/2 lbs. angel hair pasta

Place olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute the garlic over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. Add the spinach and cook until limp, tossing, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Toss with the Asiago cheese and set aside.

In another bowl, combine the ricotta, mascarpone, walnuts, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the tomato sauce, adding the basil. Cook about 5 minutes, to completely incorporate basil flavor.

Place pasta in boiling water and cook only 1 minute if fresh, according to package instructions if dried. Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato sauce.

Place pasta in 6 warmed serving bowls. Top each with a scoop of the spinach mixture and one of the cheese mixture. Toss lightly.

Note: To make fresh tomato sauce, peel and seed 3 pounds of plum tomatoes and add salt to taste. Simmer over low heat to reduce liquid by half, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If tomatoes aren't really fresh and ripe, it is better to used canned.

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