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I owe a lot of my cooking tricks to my friend Amy. She's the one who first taught me to dump a strainer-ful of cooked pasta over a salad, basically, and feel like I could eat just a bowl of pasta for dinner. No salad or other healthy green side necessary. I first mentioned this Strozzapretti with Pecorino, Prosciutto and Something Green last January, but took a rather unappetizing photo, and neglected to show the green of "something green." I've felt bad about it ever since.
So last night, the friend with whom I'd originally shared this meal came over for dinner. What to cook on a Wednesday night when one cook is a tired working mother and the other is seven months pregnant?
"Let's strangle the priest," I said to my expecting friend, referring to strozzapretti, the pasta shape we'd used originally and have each time since for its talent at holding the eggy sauce in its loins, and just because "priest strangler" is an irresistible name for a pasta shape. "Let's."
Two things to know. First, you can use any shape of pasta, of course (other nice, easy to find shapes are penne and farfalle.)
Second, select small tender greens like baby (or chopped) spinach, frisée;, baby arugula, or even a handful of young herbs. What you see here is spinach. I used endive in the original recipe, but with all the beautiful spinach coming into markets, with its tempting levels of vitamins, it was an easy choice. Use what's in season.
The whole trick with this kind of one-bowl meal is to incorporate your nutritious greens without having to cook them separately from the pasta. In this case, the sauce is prepared by whisking the eggs, cheese, salt and pepper into a big bowl that awaits the hot pasta, and perhaps some simmering broth.
Here is the original recipe. You can make it in about 10 minutes, or as long as it takes to boil the pasta. It's perfect for midweek home cooking (how about tonight?), or entertaining any day of the week when you want to cook something fresh, delicious, and healthy, and want it to appear effortless.