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29 December, 2010

Capellini doppio

Posted in : Fixins, Recipes on by : Lauri Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Italian, doppio means “double”, but the title here refers more to this two-step process than to making a really big batch.  This approach makes good use of a pasta pan with a lift-out colander, and makes speedy but healthy comfort food for up to four people in ten minutes or less.

You’ll need:

  • capellini (“angel hair”) pasta
  • marinara or other pasta sauce
  • ricotta cheese (feta or goat cheese are good too, but have a different effect)
  • fresh spinach
  • fresh tomato and/or mushrooms
  • salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

First phase:

  • Fill the pasta pan just over half-full.  Salt well and add a good splash of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Measure your capellini: one serving is about an inch in diameter.  Set aside.
  • Prep veggies: While the water is heating, rough-chop a handful of washed spinach and dice a tomato.  If you have a couple of mushrooms, trim the end off the stem and slice the rest thinly.  Add more or less according to taste and how many people you’re feeding.  Spread veggies across the bottom of a large serving bowl.  Top with about a cup of pasta sauce.  Set aside.
  • Once the water is boiling vigorously, add half the pasta.  Stir a bit, to break up the bundle and discourage sticking.

Second phase:

  • Decent capellini will be ready after about two minutes.  Lift colander section of the pot and hold above the water, shaking slightly, to drain thoroughly.  Dump pasta into serving bowl, spreading hot noodles across the top of the veggies/sauce/cheese mixture to cook them slightly.
  • Put colander back in the boiling water.  Once water is back up to a full boil, add remaining pasta, stir and cover.
  • Toss the pasta and veggies in the serving bowl with two forks or large spoons.  Add more sauce to the top.  Dollop generously with ricotta.
  • Drain remaining pasta and add to top of previous batch to cook the additional sauce and cheese.  Toss gently, adding salt, pepper and olive oil as desired.  The result should be a veggie-studded concoction that’s a little creamy, very satisfying, and a great example of fast, budget-conscious nutrition.

Eat up.

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