June 19, 2009

Garlic Spinach Alfredo

Posted in Pasta: stovetop tagged , , at 12:14 am by jenniec00ks

salmonalfredo 001


So I forgot to take pictures while I was cooking again – but here’s the quick and dirty of what I made for dinner tonight:

Makes ~3 servings (Vegetarian suggestions/changes at the end!)

7 large garlic cloves
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup of flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 box of frozen spinach (10 oz.)
Dash of nutmeg, S&P
1/4 cup of mozzarella or Italian blend shredded cheese (optional)
1 package of smoked salmon (4 oz. – taste for saltiness first!  You’ll be surprised)
8 oz. long pasta (spaghetti was good)

1. Get the pasta on to boil for however long the box says (I did al dente spaghetti for 10 minutes).  Drain well when ready.

1.5.  Pop the frozen spinach in the microwave and cook according to the box.  Something like 5 minutes on high sounds about right.  Squeeze and drain off as much water out as possible with a fork.

2. Melt the butter on medium-low heat.  I used my typical 10″ saucepan thingie.

3. While the butter is melting, finely chop the garlic.

4. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the garlic is very fragrant.

5. Add the 1/4 cup of flour to the saucepan and stir.  You’re making a roux and it should be very clumpy and pasty looking.  No worries, we’ll smooth it out soon.

6.  Pour the milk slowly into the pan (over about 30 seconds time window), stirring as you go.  Try to mash up the roux pieces as you pour.

7.  Stir the alfredo sauce constantly, making sure the roux is completely dissolved (the chunks left will be garlic of course).

8. Add the dash of ground nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

9. Add the cheese if you desire, and stir.  This should thicken up the sauce considerably.  Turn the heat off after the sauce coats the back of the spoon (i.e. dip the spoon in, run your CLEAN finger on the back, the sauce should not encroach over the area where you just ran your finger).

10.  Add the drained spinach, drained pasta, and smoked salmon pieces to the alfredo sauce.  Toss and serve!


Just a few notes, if your sauce turns green, then you just didn’t drain the spinach very well.  No big deal, try again next time.  It won’t damage the taste at all.  Secondly – WATCH your sauce once you get the milk in.  After about 3 minutes it should start to thicken up, and once it begins to thicken, it will get very dense, very fast.  Get it off the heat if it looks like your sauce is turning to solid.

For my vegetarian buddies, omit the smoked salmon, and cook 8oz of quartered white button mushrooms (or creminis for an extra punch of flavor!) before you start step 2 (the butter).  The mushrooms will give off some water and darken your alfredo sauce, so you want to cook them separately and add them in at the end in place of the smoked salmon.  salmonalfredo 002