Creamy Spinach and Fettuccine

Ingredients:

2 T unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lb spinach, washed and torn
2 T unsalted butter
2 T olive oil
6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 T flour
2 cups milk, reserve 1/2 cup to use as needed
1 t garlic powder
1/4 t ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch hot red pepper flakes, more if everyone likes it hot
5 oz (approximately 1 cup) Romano cheese, fresh grated
1 pound fettuccine

Directions:

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.

Add the onion and sauté until the onion softens, about five minutes.

Add the garlic and stir constantly for two minutes. Notice how the aroma of the garlic changes in this time. It is good to become familiar with the change as that means your garlic is good to go.

Add the spinach in batches, stirring, adding more as the volume shrinks.

Remove the cooked spinach and onion mixture to a covered bowl. Do not drain or wipe the skillet.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the fettuccine.

Add 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil to the skillet, heat until the butter melts and the oil shimmers.

Add the bacon pieces and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned.

Add the fettuccine to the water and cook per package directions to al dente.

Stir the flour into the hot fat and bacon, mix well. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until the sauce is smooth and very thick. This will just take a minute or two.

Spoon Mage™ Direction Note:

Note that I asked you to hold an extra 1/2 cup of milk in reserve. The reason for that is that we all measure differently. Some of you may be more generous in your tablespoons of flour than others. If you rounded the measures, you may need the extra half cup to soften the sauce a bit after you have added the spinach. The dish will be just as wonderful.

Add the garlic, pepper, nutmeg, hot red pepper flakes, and Romano cheese to the sauce. Simmer a couple minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You may require salt. If so, this is where you should add a little.

Add the spinach and onion to the thickened sauce. Simmer on low for about five more minutes or, keep on hold on the lowest setting in reserve while the pasta finishes cooking.

Drain the pasta. Toss the pasta to coat with the spinach sauce. Use whichever pot is large enough to hold the entire thing. Or mix it together in a large serving dish.

Spoon Mage™ Serving Note:

Serve with hot red pepper flakes.

Sliced tomatoes drizzled with a bit of garlic or basil infused olive oil makes a perfectly lovely side to this simple Chicago style Italian American meal.

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