Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta recipe with step by step photos. Lightened-up and incredibly delicious Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta made with milk (NO CREAM). Perfect on a Special Occasion.
Fear of Starting a Food Blog
Over the past month, many of my Instagram followers have DM'd me saying they want to start a food blog, however they're scared to start one in fear of being accused of stealing someone else's content. Many went on to say most Indian bloggers post the same recipes and are blaming one another for copying each other's content. Additionally, their own families make a lot of the same recipes at home that we Desi Bloggers share.
Yes, there have been recent accusations of online stolen content, however some of it is warranted. Every situation is different.
I completely understand the concerns of those who want to start a food blog and I assured them they should pursue their passion and be true to themselves without worrying about what people think.
The World of Food Blogging
Yes, it's true, the Food Blogging world is saturated and can be competitive, but so are many other professions. There are tons of dermatologists, teachers, and engineers. If everyone thought this way, we would do absolutely nothing in life. We are all gifted in some way.. some of us are amazing cooks, while others are brilliant at styling content, and then some of us are incredible makeup artists. There are folks who have the gift to teach while others who have the ability to inspire and motivate. We all have a certain talent, figure it out, and USE IT!
I grew up in a Punjabi household, and so I grew up eating Chole, Rajma, Punjabi Yellow Kadhi, Saag Paneer, Masala Chai, and the list goes on and on. Similarly, if you grew up in a Gujurati household, I'm sure you grew up eating Khaman, Dhokla, Dal Dhokli, Pav Bhaji, and many other delectable dishes.
I can assure you there are a countless number of Butter Chicken, Chole, and Pav Bhaji recipes on the internet, and if you make any of these recipes, no, you will NOT, and should not be accused of stealing content. These are classic recipes, and there are only a certain number of ways to make these dishes. Things get tricky when a recipe is unique, however.
My Own Content
I started blogging when there were only a handful of bloggers. I've created recipes such as my Black Bean Enchilada Pasta, Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna, and World's Best Spaghetti with Rao's Homemade - all of which have been replicated, however, I never once thought of this as stolen content. Why? Because quite honestly, there is nothing in my recipe that another fellow blogger couldn't have easily thought of. These recipes are creative, yet basic, they aren't topping any Michelin Star menus any time soon. 😂 (allow me to dream)
But, there's a fine line
You guys know I love creating fusion recipes, but I equally enjoy making non-desi recipes since both my husband and I don't love eating Indian food daily. I also believe in leading a more healthy-ish lifestyle which sets my recipes slightly apart.
When it comes to creating fusion recipes, I believe many Indian Bloggers (including myself) add a desi twist to certain recipes so it's very possible two people may have the exact same idea. Desi people love adding garlic, green chilies, masalas to almost every fusion dish. Keywords such as... masala, hariyali, tandoori, and achari are very commonly used within the South Asian Blogging Community.
While it's possible two people may have the exact same idea, it's also important to note that if you do come up with a recipe that has already been created, I personally believe it's okay to move forward with the idea anyway provided you add your own unique touch and style. In other words, do not copy the other person's recipe and style.
What exactly does that mean?
You cannot copy someone else's exact recipe and present it as your own.
You cannot copy the way the dish has been presented with the exact same style because you surely will be accused of stealing content.
To be honest, it's in your best interest to not even look at their recipe because you will inadvertently be inspired.
I know many bloggers may disagree with me and say if a unique recipe has already been created, do not recreate it. While I understand this perspective, there are many bloggers with similar backgrounds who will come up with similar ideas.
So what Inspires me?
- Instagram! Instagram pictures of food inspire me daily, especially those on the Explore page.
- Food Network inspires me, recipes by Ina Garten specifically.
- Dining out inspires me... high-end restaurants such as Indian Accent and Junoon. They help me think outside the box and work with flavors I would never have thought of pairing.
- Traveling and eating food in other countries inspires me. On a recent trip to Mexico, I was obsessed with the fresh salsa in Mexico that I simply asked the waiter how the salsa was prepared, and he gladly shared. The result is my Chipotle Salsa and it's damn good.
- My family inspires me. We are all foodies so I'm constantly discussing recipe ideas with them.
- My friends inspire me - my three best friends are Haitian, Gujurati, and Telugu, so you bet I'm going to be inspired by recipes they make for me, and many times I'll just ask for the recipe.
We are all inspired by food created by someone else. It's okay to be inspired, but it's not okay to steal content verbatim. Whenever I write up a recipe, I always credit the person who is the inspiration behind my recipe, if any. For example, my sister is the brains behind my Paneer Makhani (no butter, no cream), and I gave her credit for this recipe. I associate every recipe with someone, or someplace, and other times it's something I cooked up in my head.
Be True to Yourself (and others)
The key is to recognize the difference - are you copying someone else's content without giving them credit, or did you truly think of a recipe on your own? Be honest, be true to yourself, and give no one the chance to accuse you of stealing content. Sometimes similar recipe creations are purely coincidental. I give most people the benefit of the doubt. There's room for everyone in this Food Blogging world! It's fun if you do it right and don't get involved with the cattiness and rat race.
Post quality over quantity. Have your own style. Be unique. Be you! Now, I hope I inspired you to start that Food Blog. 😊
Feel free to leave a "civil" comment below and let me know what you think. 😊
How is Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Lightened-Up?
- Instead of white regular pasta, I used whole wheat. Feel free to use gluten-free pasta or any other kind.
- Instead of heavy cream and half-n-half, I opted for whole milk, 2% reduced-fat milk will also work. Additionally, I used a little butter and flour to create a roux which helps thicken the sauce.
- You can make this dish Vegan. Substitute regular butter for vegan butter. You also need to substitute whole milk for dairy-free milk - I find that unsweetened cashew milk works best.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta is:
Perfect for Date Night
Made with NO CREAM
Made with Whole Wheat Pasta
Gluten-Free option (use GF pasta)
How to make Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta recipe step by step?
1. Start by boiling a pot of water for the pasta.
2. Slice baby bella mushrooms.
3. Chop spinach, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes (squeezing out the oil).
1. Heat a dutch castiron on medium heat. Add olive oil, once hot, add crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for about 30 seconds.
2. Add sliced mushrooms. Saute for 4 minutes.
3. This is what you should have.
4. Add the pasta to the boiling hot water. Season with salt. Follow the instructions on the back of the package. I prefer whole wheat pasta, however, regular white or gluten-free pasta will work too.
5. Now add the chopped spinach to the mushrooms. Stir. The spinach will take about 1 minute to wilt.
6. Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add unsalted butter.
8. Once butter melts, add whole wheat flour (Indian flour works too).
9. Stir the butter and flour and cook for 1 minute.
10. Now VERY SLOWLY, add whole milk (2% reduced-fat milk will work too) to the veggies while stirring the veggies into the milk mixture. Make sure you add the milk slowly to avoid curdling.
11. Continue adding milk - you'll need 3 cups total.
12. Season with salt and add black pepper.
13. Allow the milk mixture to come to a slight boil. You'll see bubbles starting to form. The sauce is ready.
14. Add the pasta to the sauce.
15. Give it a good stir.
16. Add parmesan cheese and starchy pasta water. The starch will help thicken the sauce and help the pasta cling to the sauce.
17. Top with fresh basil. Stir.
Serve hot. It's incredibly delicious! Enjoy!
Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta (no cream, vegetarian)No Cream, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free option
- 16 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups spinach
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 cloves
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, stored in olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter, I like Kerrygold
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 3 cups whole milk, 2% reduced-fat works too
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt to taste
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- ½ - ¾ cup starchy water
- ½ cup fresh basil
- Start by boiling a pot of water for the pasta.
- Slice baby bella mushrooms.
- Chop spinach, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes (squeezing out the oil).
- Heat a dutch castiron on medium heat. Add olive oil, once hot, add crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add sliced mushrooms. Saute for 4 minutes.
- This is what you should have.
- Add the pasta to the boiling hot water. Season with salt. Follow the instructions on the back of the package. I prefer whole wheat pasta, however, regular white or gluten-free pasta will work too.
- Now add the chopped spinach to the mushrooms. Stir. The spinach will take about 1 minute to wilt.
- Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add unsalted butter.
- Once butter melts, add whole wheat flour (Indian flour works too).
- Stir the butter and flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Now VERY SLOWLY, add whole milk (2% reduced-fat milk will work too) to the veggies while stirring the veggies into the milk mixture. Make sure you add the milk slowly to avoid curdling.
- Continue adding milk - you'll need 3 cups total.
- Season with salt and add black pepper.
- Allow the milk mixture to come to a slight boil. You'll see bubbles starting to form.
- Add the pasta to the sauce.
- Give it a good stir.
- Add parmesan cheese and starchy pasta water. The starch will help thicken the sauce and help the pasta cling to the sauce.
- Top with fresh basil. Stir.
- Serve hot. It's incredibly delicious! Enjoy!