Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Creamy Pasta Sauce

OK, so obviously I have not made the blog every day goal.  So I'm resetting the goal to blog every week...  at least until the end of the year.

Always an inspiration are recipes that I e-mail out to family and friends.   I was talking to my brother today, who had some chicken he needed to cook, and wanted some pasta for dinner.  I really like a creamy sauce with chicken and pasta (plus a few vegetables), so I recommended this:

Creamy Pasta Sauce
This is great to use up whatever you have on hand.  Also, it reheats very well

3-4 servings

8 oz pasta (linguine, spaghetti, corkscrew)

1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon flour
1 ¼ cups low fat milk
¼ cup of low fat cream cheese (block or tub)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Start water to boil for pasta.  For the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan or skillet.  Add garlic and sauté for a few minutes, then add flour.  Cook for about 30 seconds, then slowly add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook until nearly boiling, add cheeses and cook until very thick.

Drain pasta (with optional vegetables) and return to pot, add sauce and other options.  Give a good twist of black pepper, add more cheese or toasted nuts if desired

Options:

Vegetables (blanched):  Use up to 2-3 cups of asparagus, peas, broccoli, carrots or other vegetables to pasta and cook (need to judge how much time to cook the veggies, generally add 2-3 minutes before the pasta is done

Vegetables (sauted): Use up to 1-2 cups of onions, shallots, mushrooms, and/or bell peppers, can put garlic here rather in sauce.  Place a small amount of oil in skillet, add red pepper flakes if desired, and sauté vegetables.  If it gets too dry, add a little white wine, or a bit of broth or water. Use the same pan to cook the sauce, remove the vegetables first (unless you are just using a little onion or shallots, then its ok to leave them in the pan).

Herbs: whatever you like, add to sauce when it is done.

Meat: Sauté chicken chunks, black forest ham (cut sandwich slices into strips), or use other leftover roasted meat.

Cheese: the original recipe called for Gorgonzola, but I’ve never actually tried this.  Usually I use a hard cheese, plus will throw in scraps if we have any left from a cheese appetizer.

Nuts:  A nice addition if there is not any meat in the sauce.  Walnuts or pine nuts, toasted in the toaster oven (1 cycle through “toast” on a foil lined pan) are good.

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