Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Giada's Fusili Pasta with Spinach and Asiago Cheese

Emily, Janna, Giada, Judy, Holly

Last year for my birthday, my husband surprised me with the best gift ever!  He somehow managed to find out about a cooking show in Atlanta, Georgia featuring some of my favorite chefs, and he arranged for me (bright pink shirt), my daughter Holly (far right), my sister-in-law Judy (in the pink sweater), and her daughter Emily (far left) to spend the weekend meeting Giada and Paula Deen, getting to see and sample some awesome new products, and eat some amazing food (oink-oink)!

I LOVE Giada!  She was very down-to-earth, so nice to talk to and absolutely beautiful!  Before I left for Atlanta, I printed out her recipe for Fusili Pasta.  It is one of my go-to dishes when I am running short on time.  She was so sweet to sign it for me and I framed it with the above picture and it is hanging in my kitchen.  In fact, tonight I didn't want to look up the recipe so I just used the framed recipe on the wall instead!

I had a two-fold reason for cooking this dish tonight.  -First of all, I still have tomatoes that I do not want to waste!  Secondly, I wanted to cook something fast!  

Martha Stewart Collection

This pot is one of my favorites in the kitchen.  It is  heavy, porcelain covered cast-iron.  For the longest I wanted a Le Creuset but they are pretty expensive so I kept putting off getting one.  Then I found this red pot by Martha Stewart at Macys for under $80.  I use it for so many things...chili, beans, soups, pasta, etc.  It cleans up  really easy too!

So here is the recipe.  I have changed it just a little because of wanting to use ingredients I had on hand.


12 ounces of fusili or rotini pasta

1/4 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

9 ounce bag of spinach, rough chopped

12 ounces of chopped cherry tomatoes

1 cup of Asiago Cheese, grated 

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add water for pasta and alot of kosher salt (2 or 3 tablespoons ~ I just guess).  the pasta will absorb the salt in the water so be careful when adding more to the dish.  Follow the directions on the bag or box for pasta.  Remember to not overcook the pasta.  It is better to undercook because the pasta will cook a little more when you add it to the rest of the ingredients.

Add garlic to oil and saute just to flavor the oil, approximately 2 minutes.

I like to use equal amounts of these two olive oils in this dish

Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until spinach begins to wilt.

Add the cooked pasta and toss!

Add your cheeses....

You can use this or.....

you can use a mixture like this...grated is better though!

I added some pine nuts because I thought it would go nicely with this dish (and I love a reason to eat pine nuts)!

Transfer pasta to a serving dish

Make some garlic bread ...... 
1 loaf of french bread
1 stick of butter, softened
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
Combine butter and garlic and spread on both sides of each slice of bread.
Broil under a broiler until golden brown on both sides.
OH MY GOSH....it is the bomb!!

*A salad and/or some lightly breaded, pan fried chicken tenders would go well with this.
We were just wanting something quick to fix and eat so we wouldn't have to pick up take-out!



Sherry Isaacks said...

This looks wonderful. Just might have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing.

JoAnna said...

Looks so good. Will have to try!