Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pasta with Green Veggies and Cheese Sauce

This pasta dish is kind of like a grown-up mac and cheese. The cheese sauce on it reminds me of cheese fondue, which I absolutely love. It is made with white wine, roasted garlic, and sharp cheddar cheese. This recipe was super easy to make and it took less than 50 minutes from start to finish. It is yet another pasta dish that can be filed away under "quick and easy." You can choose what green vegetable you want to add to the pasta. The first time I made it, I used a combination of asparagus and green beans. Then I just used asparagus the second time around. Snap peas would also probably be a good choice! Greg loved this meal and was impressed that I could still cook something tasty in my FORTIETH week of pregnancy. My dad helped himself to three or so servings for lunch the other day. It was definitely a hit. Even though it taste good leftover too, it is best straight from the pot. The cheese sauce gets a little thinned out after being in the fridge and reheated. But the leftovers are still tasty and that's what I'll be eating for dinner tonight. Enjoy!

Recipe for Pasta with Green Veggies and Cheese Sauce 
1 clove of garlic
1 - 2 tsp. of Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 bunch of chopped asparagus or another green vegetable, steamed
16 ounces of dried pasta, such as Farfalle (bowtie) or Penne
4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of dry white wine or cooking wine
2 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 3/4 cups of grated sharp white cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Panko bread crumbs (optional)

Roast the garlic first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with about a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Place in middle rack of oven and cook for 25 - 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cool slightly. *I took the shortcut way on roasting garlic. If you want to do it the longer way, check out the roasted garlic recipe here.

While the garlic is roasting, steam your veggies and then set aside.

After your garlic is roasted and veggies are steamed, bring a large pot of water to a boil and sprinkle with a couple teaspoons of salt. Then add in the pasta and cook just 30 seconds past al dente, according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Carefully squeeze the insides of each clove of garlic into a small bowl, making sure to discard of any of the papery bulb. Sprinkle the garlic with some kosher salt, mash it with a fork, and make it into a paste. Set aside.

Put the butter into a very large skillet and melt over medium heat. Once it is melted, add in the garlic paste and cook for one minute. Then add in the flour and stir until the flour is lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Then pour in the white wine and the chicken broth. Stir constantly until the sauce is a little bit thickened, about 3 minutes. Add in the grated cheese and stir until it is completely melted. Turn off the heat. Add in the steamed veggies.

Drain the pasta with a colander. Then add the pasta into the skillet with the cheese sauce and veggies. Toss to coat well and turn the heat back on low and cook for one minute or until warmed through. Serve immediately. Top each serving with some panko bread crumbs and black pepper, if desired.

Makes approximately 6 - 8 servings.

Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats