So, as usual, I hadn’t really ‘planned’ dinner…I used to plan dinners, well, sort of… my idea of planning was and still is, to try and incorporate a new recipe every now and again – to help with the boringness of the ‘same old, same old’ – but now that I’m only home three nights a week, I tend to ‘wing it’ and simply use what I have on hand…sometimes it works, sometimes it’s still the ‘same old, same old’…but it’s always homemade, with love.
This night I was in need of a change, do you that know that feeling?
Our bodies need change, our minds need change, and our food prep habits need change…hence, how I ended up with this recipe…
I needed to use what I had (I live 25 minutes from the closest grocery store, one-way), and I wanted to utilize the abundance of fresh kale I had just picked from my backyard garden and I wanted comfort food.
So, guess what I came up with? Pasta with kale, dripping in alfredo sauce!
It was SO good.
I think all that cheese negated the health benefits of the kale, but such is life sometimes…
A few months ago (in the cold, dark of winter) I was wanting something rich, gooey, and comforting – I needed a recipe for an alfredo sauce. A simple sauce of cheese, milk/cream, roux and salt and pepper. Nothing else would do. I connected to the internet (yes, I still have dial-up and yes, it still exists, sadly…) and after awhile I came across this delicious and easy to make recipe. I made it, I loved it and I printed it to keep – and I’m so glad I did.
I hadn’t made it since the dark days of winter, but when your in the mood for a rich and decadent alfredo sauce and you live in the woods by the sea, well, you better know how to make it, or at least have a recipe to help you know how!
So, I looked in the fridge – yeah, all the ingredients were there! All I had to do was prep.
No simple feat as a mamma of a pre-schooler, but with a little help from Michael, my partner – he entertained our four year old, while I chopped, diced, whisked and then finally, assembled – dinner!
This recipe is so flexible, it’s ridiculous.
Here’s what you need and what to do;
Sautee any veggies you have – I used peppers, mushrooms and kale – in a bit of olive oil and set aside.
Boil water for pasta and begin cooking pasta just before you start making the alfredo sauce.
Prepare alfredo sauce.
Place cooked pasta on plate or bowl, top with alfredo, then veggies and voila, dinner is served! Finish with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and serve alongside a salad of greens and a feast is served! Enjoy.
Slightly adapted from Jessica at Delicious Obsessions
1/2 tbsp. freshly minced garlic
1 -2 tbsp. flour of your choice (I used 1.5 tbsp. unbleached white)
3/4 cup whole milk*
3/4 cup heavy cream*
**(I substituted 1.5 cups half and half and 1/4 whole milk for heavy cream and milk measurements)
1.5 cups freshly shredded parmesan cheese
Kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
What to Do:
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add garlic and saute until lightly browned.
Sprinkle the flour over the butter/garlic mixture and whisk around, quickly. You want to use enough flour to absorb the butter, without over doing it. You want to create a roux (which is a mixture of flour and a fat (usually butter) used to thicken sauces and soups), which is slightly thick, yet fluid, without being gloppy.
Whisk this mixture for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning…this helps remove the ‘raw’ taste the flour could have if undercooked. The flour should be very lightly browned.
After you’ve made your roux (cooked your flour), slowly add the milk and cream, all the while continuing to whisk. Keep whisking – or else your sauce will be clumpy – until it’s slightly thickened and gently bubbling…
While whisking, add the shredded parmesan, little by little, until all is incorporated.
Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Things to consider;
Don’t have kale? Use spinach or swiss chard.
Don’t have peppers? Use caramelized onions or summer squash.
What about garlic? Or garlic scapes? Or fresh basil? What about freshly chopped parsley?
Like meat? Add sausage or bacon.
Play around with what you have and keep it simple.
Veggies and cheese over pasta, how can you go wrong?