Tonight’s meal is a “clean” meal–no sauces, no pasta, just some seared local bay scallops, a baked potato and a salad. That is, until I added a first course of spinach sauteed in butter with parmiggiano.
Butter and parmiggiano is one of two very common vegetable preparations in Rome–the other is garlic, olive oil and chili flakes. I make the latter much more often, since my mother always made our vegetables in this manner. Therefore, for me, the butter and cheese preparation is for special occasions–like a Friday night in February.
This preparation is very simple. The spinach is washed, boiled for five minutes, squeezed dry in little bundles, then sauteed in butter, with a touch of nutmeg. At the table, the dish is sprinked with parmiggiano. I like to eat this dish as a first course by itself because it feels decadent and luxurious and it deserves its own plate.
Tonight, we’ll save the light fare for our main course.
Spinaci col Burro e Parmiggiano
serves 4 as an ample appetizer
2.5 lbs spinach, washed, squeezed in little bundles and coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1/8 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c chicken broth
Melt butter on medium heat. Turn up heat and add spinach and nutmeg. Saute for 1 minute. Add broth, salt and pepper and saute for another minute or 2. Serve on warmed plates and sprinkle with cheese and black pepper.