Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home Cooked Meal

It seems like it has been ages since I actually cooked a home cooked meal. The Hubs would definitely agree that it has been too long and far between some good meals. If we do eat at home it has been something super quick and easy. The Hubs always says that it is ok and it is also cheaper but I found myself starving (figuratively and literally) to be in the kitchen for longer than just 30 minutes. For some women that may seem like torture, but for me it is sooo relaxing. There is nothing better than to use amazing ingredients and prep all of them and then to get cookin'! Tonight I made a pasta dish I found online. It is really simple, but I jazzed it up a bit. The main sauce is a cheesy Asiago sauce. It starts off with just a basic Bechamel and then you add the cheese and seasonings. You combine that with Farfalle pasta and some spinach..very easy. I wanted it to be more of a main dish so I added Chicken, mushrooms and zucchini. It turned out really well. The Hubs (who is not a Italian food lover) even liked it. Here is the recipe and some really bad pictures..believe me it tastes way better than my pics!

Pasta with Spinach and Asiago Cream Sauce

makes pasta course 12 people or main for 8 people


2 lb. pasta of choice

4 Tbsp sweet cream butter

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. milk, plus an additional 1/2 c. if needed

2 c. shredded asiago cheese

1/4 tsp garlic salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1/8 tsp paprika

1 c. baby spinach, chiffonade ***I just used regular spinach
*Note...I cooked chicken breasts as the pasta was cooking and chopped that up into bite sized pieces. Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Then I cooked the sliced mushrooms and zucchini together in some olive oil and butter and then garlic and salt and pepper.

Directions:-In large stock pot with salted water, bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

-Meanwhile in dutch oven or large, wide-bottom pan, add butter over medium heat.-Once fully melted, add flour and stir with large wooden spoon to combine well.-Cook, stirring well, for two minutes and and milk, stirring well, 1/2 c. at a time to turn roux into a smooth bechamel.-Turn heat to low and add shredded cheese, stirring well to combine thoroughly.-Add salt, pepper, paprika and stir well to combine.-Add more salt to taste if needed (depending on the saltiness of the cheese).(Remove from heat and bottle sauce here if making ahead)-

Once pasta is done, quickly strain, reserving 1/2 c. pasta water.-Add pasta to cheese sauce pan, along with spinach and stir well to combine. -Add pasta water if needed to achieve nicely coated pasta.-Transfer to bowl and serve. ***Note I did not need to add any of the reserved pasta water.