Lou's Potenza Special Pasta with Garlic, Fennel & Spinach


Looking for that last special dish for your holiday dinner, but don't have the time to spend all day in the kitchen? Our President and CEO Lou Iaqunita has you covered with a recipe from his own family cookbook: Potenza Special Pasta with Garlic, Fennel and Spinach (A Guaranteed Thirty Minute Meal).

Here are the ingredients to get you started:

  • 3/4 Cup of Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4-5 Teaspoons of Butter
  • 6 Whole Cloves Garlic Smashed (Not Chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Parsley
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon Dry Oregano (Crushed or Freshly Chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Peppers or More Depending on Taste
  • 7-8 Oz. Of Baby Spinach Washed and Dried
  • 3-4 Roma Tomatoes (Seeded and Diced)
  • 1 Lb of Linguine or Spaghetti
  • Salt & Black Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese (LOADS!)

Cooking Directions:

In a large pot with boiling water, start cooking the pasta. While it is cooking, warm the Olive Oil in a fry pan or Wok, then add the garlic. Allow the garlic to start frying but do NOT burn the garlic. While the garlic is cooking, add the crushed fennel, oregano, some of the chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste.

Slowly simmer all these ingredients while the pasta is cooking. Just before you add the pasta to the sauce, incorporate the butter and diced tomatoes and let them melt into the mixture. Do not overcook the sauce; if the pasta is not ready, remove the sauce from the heat as the pasta finishes cooking.

When the pasta is finished, pour into the colander to drain it of all water.

A cooking tip here is to place the colander inside the pasta bowl that you will be serving in. As you drain the water into that bowl, the heat from the water will heat the bowl and keep the pasta warm while serving.

Reserve a cup of the pasta water in the event you need some for the sauce.

Drain the pasta and pour into the fry pan with the sauce, then add the spinach and mix all of the ingredients in the fry pan (adding some of the reserved pasta water if you should need it). Once all are heated and the spinach starts to soften, shut off the heat and begin to add the cheese (as much or little as you desire). Empty the pasta bowl of the drained water and pour the contents of the fry pan in the now-heated pasta bowl. Finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil, some grated cheese and the remaining parsley for garnish.

Lou says: "This is a great dish alone, with chicken, or meat."

From all of us at IKO: Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

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