An Italian friend of mine posted one day a link on Facebook, of 10 errors about Italian food and eating culture. That was very interesting and I assume many of those conceptions and beliefs come from the American-Italian habits and culture. One point on the list was Pasta Alfredo, which, the article said, is unknown to the Italians as a traditional dish. In other words, someone else than people in Italy have come up with this recipe of Pasta Alfredo, and then spread it on as it was originally from Italy. Maybe?
I had heard of Pasta Alfredo, but never tried it. Actually now when I got back to the list above I realized it is usually made of butter. The recipes I came across were mostly using cream or other milk products, therefore I did the same. Let’s then say, my Alfredo is not quite American-Italian either, but something that would require a new definition and a new name, perhaps. I will have to get back to this dish later, with more original recipe. Meanwhile, here’s a lighter version of the dish, using ricotta and yogurt. The pasta I used was tomato-chili flavored dry rotini, and I thought it worked great as the sauce was so mild. The recipe is adapted from Joy of Kosher.
Ricotta & Spinach Pasta Alfredo
300g tomato flavored pasta (I used rotini, as the sauce goes nicely between the helix)
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g smooth ricotta
3 tablespoons Turkish or Greek yogurt (mine had 10% fat)
70g baby spinach, washed
50g parmesan cheese, grated
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
small handful of fresh thyme
salt and black pepper to taste
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Cook pasta according to the package instructions in salted water.
Heat up the oil in a large skillet. Add the ricotta and yogurt and bring to a simmer. Add parmesan and let it incorporate.
Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes more. Season with lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.
Mix the drained pasta with the sauce and serve with parmesan cheese and some more fresh thyme.
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