Last week I made papardelle with prosciutto and peas, using this cooks.com recipe. We were celebrating a new part-time job for me so we cracked open the Castello de Banfi Poggio Alle Mura 2001 Brunello we'd been saving for a special occasion. This lusty but smooth Sangiovese really should be paired with something heartier, but I didn't want to wait anymore for it, so we opened the bottle and crossed our fingers.
We lucked out, because the wine complimented, rather than clobbered the cream sauce. A lovely match that we won't be enjoying again anytime soon, since the Brunello was a gift that is way out of our normal price range for wine.
The next night, I had nothing planned for dinner, but I did have a fresh bunch of spinach, courtesy of my SPUD harvest box. Now had I been cooking for just myself, I may have just sauteed the whole bunch with garlic and butter, tossed some nutmeg over, and called that dinner, but that's not going to cut it with my spouse and kids, so instead, I scoured the fridge for more LOs (Yellow House shorthand for leftovers) and came up with the remaining prosciutto and pea sauce and some polenta. These all seemed like likely companions and so I conceived...
Polenta with spinach, peas, prosciutto, garlic, and cream
1 bunch fresh spinach washed, dried, and chopped
3 big cloves garlic, chopped
1 T butter
enough cooked polenta to cover a 9'X9' Pyrex dish (I prefer the kind you cook yourself, but some of the stuff that comes precooked in a plastic tube would be okay. Just slice it up and arrange in the dish.)
1 cup prosciutto, peas, and cream sauce (see link above)
3T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. If the polenta is cold, put your Pyrex dish into the oven and turn on the oven to 300 degrees. My oven takes just under ten minutes to get to temperature, and by that time, the polenta was warmed through.
2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the garlic. Saute the garlic till golden, then add the spinach.
3. Cook the spinach, stirring occasionally, until it is nicely wilted.
4. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream sauce.
5. Pour the spinach mixture over the polenta, sprinkling the Parmesan over it.
6. Broil on low for 3-4 minutes, just enough to turn the Parmesan brown.
Serves 4 as an accompaniment to grilled steak or 2-3 as a standalone dinner.