Time to go for something rather unique and original. This week the recipe takes a bit of a German flare with this interesting spinach noodle bake. As always, the recipe leaves the door open for a multitude of cheeses, meats and applications.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to address lots of different discussions on: ‘What to use when.’ As I frequently say to students and guests, ‘every application differs.’ For example: There are times when I only want to use pre-shredded parmesan cheese. However, most of the time it’s fresh shredded parmesan. Imagine Alfredo sauce made with pre-shredded cheese, lots of lumps. Artichokes fresh or canned. Take my word communities of 1000 people or less won’t have any fresh artichokes in their stores. Sometimes in cooking we have to use a great deal of common sense. It doesn’t mean you’re still not a quality cook. Sometimes we just have to substitute or make a calculated decision.
This past week I once again had the opportunity to pay a visit to the Brightwater Culinary Institute in Bentonville. If you visit this area you really have to dart in for a quick visit. The restaurants and food trucks on property are terrific and the classes in culinary are some of the best in the Midwest. After a quick ‘holler’ we journeyed on down 8th street and visited my friend, Michael, the new chef for the Thaden School in Bentonville. This is a new state of the art educational facility for students grades 6-12. Impressive seems like an understatement for this school.
As a retired educator I would encourage current teachers to plan a professional day at this institution. Give them a few more weeks to get the final touches on everything and the students in place. Seriously it’s going to be a model education system that may start progressing into other cities.
Our family has been on the road again this week taking our son, Phillip’s furniture and apartment needs to Linn, Missouri, where he will be attending college. Then my husband, Ervin, his brother Dale and father Dwayne are finally heading back to Wichita to bring more furniture from our Aunt’s Home.
Like many I look at the calendar and ask where did the summer go? Too speedily, that is for sure. There’s never enough time to get all the projects completed. I’d like to get back home for a visit in Northeast Missouri, with my folks. After Phillip gets settled in school I’m hitting the clean out mode. If it hasn’t been used out it goes! With a few exceptions, of course.
Enjoy the lazy days of summer and spend more time with those you love.
Enjoy the recipe. Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Spinach Nudel Backen
16 ounces Linguine, snapped in half and cooked
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
8-10 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped into slivers
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces sour cream
1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
2 cups 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon dry basil
Additional shredded Gouda for topping dish
Cook linguine and remove from heat just before its al dente. Consider leaving pasta in hot water while you complete the sauce; and then drain.
In a saucepan melt butter and sauté the chopped onion, add the chopped spinach and wilt; lastly add the garlic cloves and sauté. Chop cream cheese into chunks and add to mixture along with sour cream, milk and the shredded Gouda cheese.
Continue stirring sauce until all cheeses are melted. While mixing add the pepper, salt and basil. When sauce is hot, but not boiling add the linguini. Stir until all the pasta is coated.
Serve as a side or turn into a main entrée. Chicken could easily be added to this for a main dish or shrimp. Also to make it more interesting consider adding sautéed mushrooms and/or artichokes. I can even see thin circles of Roma tomatoes in the recipe.
Should you decide to bake (‘backen’ in German) an easy topping would be crumbled bacon, additional cheese, toasted and seasoned bread crumbs or chopped fresh basil.
Simply changing the choice of cheese can make a great deal of difference.