Cheesy Fusilli

On the night of my first rehearsal with the orchestra I just joined, Whitney and I had limited time to prepare dinner and were looking for something quick. This recipe for fusilli with pecorino romano and black pepper from Giada certainly fit the bill! It was very delicious and reminiscent of mac & cheese. The only improvement we might suggest is some more spinach.

Kosher salt
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
5 cups baby spinach leaves (5 ounces) 
Freshly ground pepper (the pepper stands out in this recipe, so use freshly ground if you can)
1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (6 ounces)
1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 ounces), at room temperature

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the spinach and 2 teaspoons pepper, and cook until the spinach has wilted, about 1 minute.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the pasta. Add the Pecorino Romano cheese and 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper, and toss until coated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the reserved cooking liquid and the mascarpone cheese until smooth. Pour over the pasta and toss until coated. Season with salt.

Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and serve.

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