My youngest daughter had been given the task to take some wellness related action so she decided to to go vegan for a week! This recipe is inspired by having to produce a menu that would be tasty for her so that she would enjoy this food journey.
The idea of making a creamy pasta came from her and so I had to think of what to do about it. How does one get a creamy consistency in a sauce without dairy! So, after some research I found that you could get a creamy sauce with almond milk and flour and it turned out to be delicious!
In this recipe I have used organic frozen spinach. Spinach is a most nutrient rich food with high amounts of vitamins and minerals and abundant phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
Frozen spinach is prepared by blanching spinach leaves for a very short time in boiling water and then immediately placing them in cold water to prevent the spinach leaves from cooking. This way the spinach retains it’s nutritional value and there is least loss of vitamin C. Spinach should be sautéed or steamed and not boiled because in boiling spinach it loses half it’s nutrient content. It is very useful to have organic frozen spinach stocked in the freezer for sauces or even for soups. When using frozen spinach, you can prevent vitamin C from depleting by cooking it directly from the freezer without thawing it first. If you do need to thaw it do save the water in order to keep the vitamin C and other water soluble nutrients, which you can use later for soups.
Ingredients for garlic and chilli infused olive oil:
1. Olive oil – 1/4 cup
2. Garlic pods – 4 (kept whole)
3. Dried whole red chillis – 4
Ingredients for sautéed spinach:
1. Olive oil – 5 tbsps
2. Cherry tomatoes – 4 sliced in half, lengthwise
3. Frozen Spinach – 1/2 cup
4. Shallots – 4 thinly sliced
5. Garlic pod – 1 (chopped into small pieces)
6. Chilli flakes – 1/2 tsp
7. Basil – 1 tsp
8. Himalayan salt – 1 tsp
Ingredients for Creamy Sauce:
1. Organic activated Almond Milk – 1 cup
2. All purpose flour or rice flour – 2 tbsp
3. Himalayan salt – 1 tsp
4. Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
1. Cook whole garlic pods and whole dried chillis in olive oil on low fire until the garlic is soft and put aside
2. Add olive oil in a frying pan, sliced shallots, a minced garlic pod and sliced tomatoes
3. Add basil, salt and pepper to the pan and cook until the shallots and garlic are soft but not brown
4. Then add the thawed spinach and cook on low fire for 5 minutes
5. Lastly, add the garlic and chilli infused olive oil to the pan and cook for further 5 mins
6. Mash the whole garlic pods in the frying pan
7. Prepare the sauce
Pour almond milk in a small pan and add the flour, salt and pepper and whisk on low fire till it thickens
8. Then add the sauce in the spinach and cook together for 1 min. Boil pasta separately and then mix the pasta and the spinach sauce. Enjoy!