Creamy Mushroom Pasta
If you haven’t got fresh spinach frozen is great and just needs to be gently thawed while it is simmered gently in the sauce. Otherwise frozen peas would also work. Finish with a sprinkling of finely grated Parmesan or Cheddar.
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|125g Baby spinach leaves|
|200g Carton cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)|
|Good pinch of dried oregano|
|½ vegetable stock cube|
|1 tbsp rapeseed oil|
|2 Garlic cloves|
|150g Fusilli or penne pasta (wholewheat or regular)|
Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt for 10-12 minutes until tender (or according to packet instructions).
Peel the garlic and use a garlic press or grate on the fine side of a box grater. Trim the mushrooms and using a small sharp knife cut into slices.
Heat a frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the oil and swirl it up the sides. Tip in the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds, being careful not to let it brown too much. Tip in the mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are tender, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon.
Dissolve the stock cube in 300ml boiling water and stir into the pan. Allow to bubble down, then sprinkle over the oregano and add a good squeeze of lemon juice, about half a tablespoon is about right. Bring to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the cream cheese and then add the spinach, fistfuls at a time until it is all wilted. Cook for another minute until piping hot.
Drain the pasta and return to the pan, then gently fold in the creamy mushroom and spinach mixture. Divide between bowls and garnish with a little more freshly ground black pepper to serve.
The cooked mushroom and spinach mixture would keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge so you would just need to cook the pasta and then reheat the sauce gently in a small saucepan or in the microwave before using.
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