I think any Genoese recipe is bound to be interesting, and this simple spinaci alla genovese recipe doesn't disappoint. For starters, it includes golden raisins and anchovies!
That's not as weird as it sounds. A lot of Italian cooking uses anchovies as a seasoning, in small quantities; it's way more interesting than salt! And the golden raisins are also used in a lot of northern Italian recipes, along with pine nuts and various spices, all thanks to the region's medieval dominance of Mediterranean sea trade from the Orient. Venetian cuisine is equally fascinating.
- Soak the raisins in hot water to cover for 10 minutes, to make them plump and tender.
- Soak the anchovies in warm water for 10 minutes to reduce the saltiness.
- Wash the spinach and shake it out gently, remove any ugly stems, and put it in a hot pan with no added water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- In a skillet, heat the oil. Drain the anchovies and add them, stirring and mashing them until they dissolve.
- Drain the raisins and add them. Add the parsley and pine nuts at the same time. Stir it all together.
- Drain the spinach and gently press out excess water, then add it to the skillet and stir to coat the spinach with the anchovy-raisin sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and maybe a little more excellent olive oil. Transfer into a nice serving dish and serve hot.