Lasagnette with Spinach, Butter and Parmigiano

Lasagnette are little pasta squares with curly edges–just as the name suggests–little sheets of lasagna.  This was the first course that I served with my Roast Chicken Breasts with Rosemary and Lemon.  It was so good, I thought it deserved a post of its own.

This dish is a beautiful, refined, and simple to prepare first course.  It relies on the richness of butter and parmigiano cheese, and the flavor and texture of the pasta itself.  These ingredients, in the right proportion, provide all the complexity and delicacy of a stuffed pasta, such as spinach tortelli (ravioli), with none of the labor.

The dish can be done in the time it takes to cook the pasta.   As the pasta is a couple minutes shy of done, in a large skillet, saute a pile of washed baby spinach in butter.  When the spinach wilts (within a minute), add a splash of chicken broth, then top with the cooked pasta.  Stir in copious amounts of grated parmigiano and black pepper.

That’s the dish–no sauce to make, no aromatics to peel and chop–nothing except spinach to wilt.  You’ll want to repeat this dish over and over again.

Lasagnette with Spinach, Butter and Parmigiano 

serves 4

1 lb. lasagnette

10 oz. baby spinach leaves

6 tbls butter

1/2 c chicken broth

1 c grated parmigiano

salt and pepper to taste

While the pasta is boiling, in a large skillet, melt butter and wilt spinach.

when spinach has begun to wilt, add broth and set aside until pasta is cooked.

Add cooked pasta to the skillet, along with the water that clings to it and stir to combine for about 30 seconds.  If the mixture is too tight, add in a bit more pasta water.  Remove from heat, fold in half the grated cheese and gently stir.   Top with plenty of black pepper and additional grated cheese.

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