It’s hot, gooey, creamy, cheesy spinach sauce that’s good when you really need some comfort food after a long day. It works really well poured over a sturdy pasta or potatoes (though I think gnocchi works best) and you can dice up any left over proteins you’ve got in the fridge and add to it.
What you need:
10 ounces of spinach (1 small bag, not frozen)
2-3 cloves garlic (1.5-2 tbs of pre-minced garlic in a jar)
2 tbs oil/butter/whatever you like to use to keep things from sticking to the pan
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan (grated powder will not melt right)
How to do it:
Heat oil/butter/etc in a large (10-12 inch) skillet on medium heat.
Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes once oil/butter/etc is hot.
Add all the spinach to the skillet and mix it around to coat in the garlic (don’t worry if it’s a giant mountain, it’ll wilt down) and cook until it’s entirely wilted.
Add all the heavy whipping cream and wait for it to simmer, then cook for 20 minutes at a simmer until it thickens slightly, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Turn heat off but leave the skillet on the burner, add the Parmesan gradually while stirring and continue to stir until all the cheese is melted into the creamed spinach (you can absolutely add more cheese if you want it cheesier).
(optional) Add any diced up proteins you want
Pour over carb of choice and enjoy
This makes several servings and you can make the sauce in advance and reheat it and then make the pasta/potatoes/etc as needed if you want. To heat up the sauce just add a splash of milk or cream and heat in the microwave or on the stove until hot.
ROASTED PUMPKIN TORTELLINI with SAGE BUTTER AND GOAT’S CHEESE
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeded 100 g parmesan, grated zest & juice of 1 lemon 1 tsp sugar salt & pepper
6 dl durum wheat flour 4 eggs salt
Start by making the filling. Heat the oven to 200C. Arrange the butternut squash on a baking tray or in an ovenproof (wide) dish. Bake for 40 minutes. Chill.
Meanwhile, prepare the dough. Combine the egg, flour and salt by kneading the mixture until soft and smooth. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Place the goat’s cheese in the freezer (yes, you heard me).
When the squash isn’t too hot anymore, purée it. Then add the grated parmesan and the lemon zest and juice. Do be careful with the lemon juice - be sure to taste the purée as you add juice to the mixture.
Taste the filling with sugar, salt and pepper.
Now, it’s time to make the pasta. Make thin pasta sheets with your pasta machine (or try to roll it out very thinly). Shape rectangles of the rolled out dough.
Once you have shaped the rectangles, start filling them with a small amount of the filling. Then fold the rectangles.
Seal the tortellini by dipping your finger in water and sealing the cushions by following the edge of the rectangles with your finger. Remember to dust the ready-made tortellinis with some flour, so that they won’t stick together.
Heat the oven to 225C and some water in a large casserole. Place the goat’s cheese in the oven - be sure to take it out again within 5 minutes.
Now cook the tortellini (in small batches)for some two minutes each.
Meanwhile, heat a lot of butter in a frying pan, add the sage. Fry until crisp and golden.
Finally, arrange the tortellini on the plates. Add the sage and butter. Top with the goat’s cheese and serve with a light red wine.
How to make microwave ramen suck less (without effort)
I know the title of the blog is No More Ramen, but sometimes ya gotta work with what ya got. Doesn’t mean it has to completely lack nutrition, though! With ramen, that means adding various other things.
(Note: there are a lot more things you can add to ramen, but these are the ones that are microwave friendly. The choose-your-own menu includes no-chop and vegetarian/vegan options.)
Shrimp: Defrost/de-shell/de-vein, if necessary. Then put them in a bowl of water (your noodle water, but without noodles), microwave on High for 1 minute. Add your ramen noodles and microwave on High for 2 to 2.5 more minutes.
Eggs: Crack 1 or 2 eggs and beat them with a fork. After your ramen is done cooking in the microwave, stir it with a fork and slowly pour the beaten eggs into the swirling water. The hot water will cook them almost instantly.
Imitation crab: Comes in pre-cooked blocks. Flake it with a fork/chop it with a knife/pull it apart with your fingers and add it to the noodles before microwaving.
Canned tuna: Drain and add to the noodles before microwaving.
Spinach (whole or chopped)
Cabbage, green or red (thinly sliced)
For all of the above, add to the hot broth directly after microwaving.
Thinly sliced white/red onion
For the above, add them to the water and noodles before microwaving. Depending how large you chop, some may take an extra minute of microwaving in the water before you add the noodles.
The flavour packet, obviously
Sriracha sauce/hot sauce
Sugar (only a little, and in addition to other flavourings)
If you have an Asian store near you, or a big grocery store with an Asian section, this is a great way to make instant noodles less boring without taking the time to prepare add-ins that need to be chopped or cooked.
one serving of instant miso soup (miso paste packet + seasoning packet)
utensils (spoon, fork, chopsticks, whatever you usually eat instant noodles with) and possibly a microwavable bowl (if whatever you’re making doesn’t come with its own disposable bowl)
What you do:
prepare the instant noodles according to the package (use the broth flavoring packet if you want - I do, because I like a stronger flavored broth - or omit it)
dump the miso paste and seasonings in and stir
Personally I find this is a great way to prepare those packaged udon noodles that most grocery stores carry. Normally instant udon is a little bland for me if I don’t add anything to it, but the miso paste takes it from “meh” to something I can happily eat an entire package of. You can buy miso paste in a tub if you’re going to eat a lot of it, and it probably comes out cheaper per serving that way, but I like to have the instant stuff on hand because it’s pre-measured and keeps forever. If you have access to an Asian store you can also find a lot of variety in types of instant miso soup. You can also look for other types of instant soup packets and try those with your noodles.
If you want to make this vegetarian or vegan, make sure you look at the ingredients for the flavoring packets! Miso paste itself is meat-free, but the dried dashi stock in most miso soup seasoning is usually made with fish.