Radiatore with yams and spinach
Makes 4 servings
When I first ordered the pasta-potato combination in an Italian restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised at the compatibility of these two comfort foods. Here the potatoes, which can be cooked right along with the pasta, come to life with the addition of generous amounts of garlic and red pepper flakes. If you love "heat," increase the red pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon.
12 ounces radiatore or penne
16 ounces yams, peeled and cut into-1-inch cubes (3 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup yellow onion in ¼-inch strips
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium vegetable stock (prepare using stock concentrate, cubes, or powder) or chicken broth for nonvegetarians
6 cups salad spinach in ½-inch strips
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
½ cup freshly shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper for garnish
Cook the radiatore with the potatoes in a large pot of boiling water according to pasta package instructions or until the pasta and potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender.
Increase the heat to high; stir in the chicken broth and spinach. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes and pepper.
When the radiatore and potatoes are done, drain well; return to the pasta pan. Add the spinach mixture; toss to combine over medium heat just until heated through. Add the Romano cheese and toss again. Season with salt.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.