I eat a lot of garlic. A lot. Luckily for me, my parents grow the tastiest organic garlic in Ontario, so I always have a great supply. Sometimes the heads are a bit smaller than the ones you buy in a grocery store, but they taste so much better.
With cold and flu season just around the corner, the more garlic I eat, the more protected I feel. Lately I’ve been averaging at least a head of garlic a day, so hopefully that will take care of any of the germs that sneak my way. I eat most of it raw, but once in a while I like to roast some: it gives garlic this mellow quality and ends up being so rich.
You guys all know how to roast garlic, right? No? Basically you just slice the tops off a few heads, drizzle them in olive oil and put them in a baking dish, covered with foil. Roast for about 20 minutes in a 350° oven – just give it a poke to see that it’s soft.
Take the garlic, some pasta, some spinach and make some cream sauce to go with it. A quick and very cozy dinner – and since garlic is good for you, it’s practically health food!
Roasted Garlic Pasta
- one head of garlic, roasted (or three baby ones!)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound dry pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I would have used whole, but all we had was 2%)
- 2 cups grated parmesan
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups of baby spinach
First, roast your garlic in the olive oil. You can even do this a few hours ahead of time and just set it aside until you’re ready to cook.
Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta, and cook according to package directions, but make sure to stop cooking it when it’s just almost done – you’re going to cook everything together and you don’t want it to get mushy.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, then whisk in the flour. Add the milk and cook over low heat until the sauce has thickened. Add the cheese, and a touch of salt and pepper. Then start adding the garlic, mushing the cloves as you add it so the sauce gets an even dose of garlic.
Drain the pasta, reserving some of the water first, and take the sauce off of the heat. Place a large frying pan over low heat. Add the spinach, then the drained pasta and the sauce. Stir together for a few minutes so the spinach wilts. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the pasta water – I added about a 1/2 cup to get everything to blend together better.
Serve with a little extra parmesan and some cracked black pepper.