#52NewEats :: Week 41 :: Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta

Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta

It is pretty much a given, that if a recipe has the word “creamy” in the title, I will be all about it.  I looooove creamy sauces and dishes.  Can’t get enough.  Creamy sauces for drowning, dousing, blanketing, dipping, smothering… are all my favoritest sauces ever.  I would eat piles of vegetables if I could drown them all in creamy sauces.

Which… maybe isn’t such a bad idea… but I digress.

So when I happened upon //this pasta dish for Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta//, I couldn’t wait to make it.  This kind of pasta is the best – you get some vegetable matter with the tomatoes and the spinach, but you also get the velvety lusciousness of a creamy sauce.  This was a DELICIOUS pasta dish, and it was so easy, since you make everything in one pot!!

The original recipe makes A LOT, so I cut it in half and it was more than enough for us, and I gave the rest to my brother and his wife, who just had a baby!  Also, instead of tomato puree, I used tomato paste.  I always chop the spinach a little bit so it wilts faster.

This recipe really is a keeper, head on over to //the original recipe// and try it out!

 

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Secret Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip.

Really, SFB?

I know, I know.  Everyone knows how to make spinach dip, right?  In fact, it just may be that you know how to make it the way I make it here.  Maybe what I have here is not even new to you.  But it’s new to me, and I’m excited to share it!

Two jobs ago I worked with a girl who claimed to have the best spinach dip recipe ever.  I love spinach dip – have all my life – ever since I was a kid that hated vegetables and anything green – so I said girl, bring some in and I’ll tell you if it’s better than my mom’s.

So she brings it in, with a box of Triscuits.  I say, why the Triscuits?  She says, it’s the best way to eat it.  So I try it, and doggone it, she’s right.

I kept eating it, and trying to figure out what made it so different.  Upon close inspection, it appeared to contain all the same ingredients as my mom’s dip.  It mostly tasted the same.  There was a slight difference I couldn’t put my finger on.  But the main difference was the texture.  It was thicker.  More stiff.  So I started grilling her.

“What is it?  What makes it so thick?”

“I’m not telling you!”

“TELL ME.  I have to know.  What is it?!”

“NO, I’m not telling you!  It’s a secret family recipe.”

“Do you use more sour cream than mayo?”

“I’m not telling.”

“Do you use any mayo at all?”

“Not telling.”

“AH!  Do you use cream cheese?!”

:: looks away sheepishly and blushes :: “I’m not telling!!”

Bingo.  The girl put cream cheese in her dip.  Now to figure out the correct proportions!

It only took me two tries to get it right.  Sadly, I don’t talk to this girl anymore, we have grown apart and moved on with our lives, but if I did I’d let her know I cracked her secret spinach dip code, and thank her for introducing it to me in the first place.

Jorie, if you’re out there – thanks!! 💕

Secret Spinach Dip

Ingredients
1 8oz brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 packet Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 10oz box of frozen cut spinach, thawed to room temperature, wrung dry in a kitchen towel
Several dashes (to taste) of hot sauce

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream with a hand mixer. Beat for a couple of minutes until very well combined.

2. Add the vegetable soup mix and beat for another couple minutes.

3. Add in the wrung-dry spinach and hot sauce. (To wring dry: empty spinach into the center of a clean kitchen towel. Gather the towel up around the spinach and twist the towel together over a sink, and squeeze and wring until no more water comes out.) Beat for another minute or to to ensure it’s well combined.

4. Remove the beaters, and continue combining with a spatula if necessary, to break up larger chunks of spinach. Pour into a bowl and seal. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 5 days. Serve with cut celery, carrots, pretzel chips, and – of course – Triscuits.  😊

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