Well Dined


Steak Pinwheels and Pasta with Spinach, Ricotta, and Raisins

I always see these beautiful steak pinwheels at the grocery store and was wondering if I could make them myself.  It turns out that it isn't that easy - but stuffed with boursin cheese, spinach, and artichokes these sure are tasty!  I paired them with a pasta using up the last of a big batch of homemade ricotta, spinach, and golden raisins.

To make the pinwheels, start by wrapping flank steak in plastic wrap and pounding it thin.

Rub one side of the steak all over with minced garlic, and spread some herbed cheese (I used Laughing Cow) across the middle.

Top the steak with artichokes and spinach and roll up tightly (this is the hard part, especially since steak edges are not even), then insert skewers every inch or so.

Slice between the skewers to make rounds.

Sear the rounds for a few minutes per side until they are cooked through, turning carefully with tongs so that the filling doesn't fall out (I found this to be tricky).

For the pasta - add spinach, scallions, basil, and golden raisins to cooked fusilli.

Then fold in ricotta, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, and toasted pine nuts.

The pasta is an awesome balance or creamy and chewy, savory and sweet - I would definitely make it again.  The steak was good, but for all the work it took to make I would probably just buy the pre-rolled pinwheels from the grocery store next time.

Flank Steak Pinwheels
adapted from Eating Well
serves 2-4

1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp light herbed cheese spread (such as Boursin or Laughing Cow)
Artichoke hearts, chopped (packed in water, not oil)
1 cup baby spinach
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat a grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium high heat. Meanwhile, place the steak between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each side of the steak thoroughly with a heavy object until the steak is an even 1/4-inch thickness.

Rub garlic all over one side of the steak. Spread the cheese lengthwise in a 3-inch-wide strip down the middle of the steak. Top with the artichokes and spinach. Starting at one edge of a long side, roll the steak up tightly, tucking in the filling as you go.
Carefully rub salt and pepper all over the outside of the steak roll. Turn the roll so the overlapping edge is on top. Push 6-8 skewers, evenly spaced, through the roll, close to the overlapping edge to hold the roll together. Slice the roll into 6-8 equal portions, roughly 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, with a skewer in each. Lay the slices on their sides and push the skewer through so it sticks out about 1 inch.

Cook the pinwheels 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Use a spatula when turning them to prevent too much filling from falling out. (Don't worry if the ends of the skewers burn. They will still hold the pinwheels together.) Remove the skewers; let the pinwheels rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Fusilli with Spinach, Ricotta, and Raisins
adapted from Real Simple
serves 6-8

1 lb whole wheat fusilli pasta
4 tsp olive oil
1 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed of excess moisture
3 scallions, thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
1 1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/3 cup whole or part-skim ricotta
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot, do not rinse.

Add the olive oil, spinach, scallions, raisins, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Toss to combine.

Fold in the ricotta, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, and pine nuts.

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